In Fragile Time For U.S. / China Relations Senators Are Pushing For More Arms and Funding For Taiwan

Taiwan FA-18

Going Head-To-Head With China Over Taiwan.

A duo of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Thursday to significantly enhance support for Taiwan, including billions of dollars in security assistance and changes to the decades old law undergirding Washington’s unofficial ties with the Chinese-claimed democratic island.

The sponsors of a bill to restructure U.S. policy toward Taiwan said it would send a clear message that China should not make the same mistakes Russia made in invading Ukraine.

The United States, which accuses China of increasing military coercion toward Taiwan, is its main supporter and arms supplier, a point of increasing friction between Washington and Beijing, whose relations are already at their lowest point in decades.

A bill to boost U.S. competitiveness with China has been languishing in Congress for months. The White House and State Department did not respond to requests for comment.

The bill would increase the role of Washington’s top official in Taiwan, require the Secretary of Defense to establish a training program to increase Taiwan and U.S. armed forces interoperability, and require the president to impose sanctions on Chinese officials.

The senators’ Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 threatens severe sanctions against China for any aggression against Taiwan, and would provide $4.5 billion in foreign military financing over the next four years, as well as designate Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally,” according to the text.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Bob Menendez, who is also the chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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