A group of Republican congressmen proposed a bill that would provide Taiwan with US$2 billion in military aid each year for the next 10 years to help Taiwan defend itself.
Yesterday, Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate, introduced the “Increase Deterrence Against Taiwan” bill. Senators Mike Crapo, John Corning, Bill Hagerty, Mitt Romney, and Marco Rubio are all Republicans who co-sponsored the bill.
The bill requires the U.S. government to provide Taipei with US$2 billion in aid each year through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program from 2022 to 2032. The program helps the island purchase weapons and defense equipment from the United States and simplify the process of selling weapons to Taiwan. .
The bill also requires the White House to conduct an annual review of Taipei’s efforts to develop strategies to respond to Beijing. It also asked Taiwan to increase military spending commensurate with the United States.
The Democratic Party’s position on the bill is unclear, but many lawmakers have called for strengthening the relationship between the United States and Taiwan, which will increase the pressure on President Joe Biden. Taiwan is one of the rare issues that the U.S. Senate often receives bipartisan support.
China has always regarded Taiwan as a province awaiting reunification and has vowed to use force when necessary. Recently, the Chinese military has continuously increased its military pressure on Taiwan through traditional and non-traditional means. In addition to flights close to the island with a record number of aircraft, the Chinese military has also conducted multiple landing exercises to occupy the coast near Taiwan.
President Biden stated on October 21 that if Chinese troops attack Taiwan, the United States will support Taiwan’s defense. This runs counter to the long-standing “strategic ambiguity” policy of the United States, that is, Washington helps Taiwan Island build self-defense capabilities, but does not promise to support the defense of Taiwan Island to avoid angering Beijing.
Despite acknowledging the “One China” policy, the United States still maintains relations with Taiwan and provides the island with many modern weapons to strengthen its defense capabilities.
Takehide (follow Reuters)