senate-committee-passes-taiwan-policy-act-with-strong-bipartisan-support

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation aimed at supporting the security of Taiwan and its right of self-determination in a 17-5 bipartisan vote on Sept. 14.

The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, a bill introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-N.J.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), would provide Taiwan with $4.5 billion through a foreign military financing initiative through 2026.

The Act also proposed to include the island as a major non-NATO ally to facilitate arms sales, and assess free-trade agreements to enhance economic development and cooperation with Taiwan.

It’s unclear whether the Biden administration would support it, but Menendez described the bill as “the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. policy towards Taiwan since the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979,” reported the Central News Agency based in Taiwan.

Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative

Included in the bill are “measures to strengthen the United States-Taiwan defense relationship, and to accelerate the modernization of Taiwan’s defense capabilities required to deter or, if necessary, to defeat an invasion of Taiwan by the People’s Republic of China.”

Military coercion from Beijing intensified immediately following the visit of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the island in August.

China sent 27 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone on Aug. 3, and fired at least 11 ballistic missiles into waters encircling Taiwan on Aug. 4, after Pelosi finished her visit in Taiwan.

Since then, the regime’s provocative military acts around the island have been non-stop and escalating.

Epoch Times Photo
Taiwanese Americans gather in front of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles on Aug. 14 in a demonstration urging the U.S. government’s continued support of Taiwan. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Menendez said, “As Beijing continues to take coercive diplomatic, political, military and economic measures against Taiwan, today’s strong, bipartisan vote not only signals our unwavering support for the Taiwanese people but our recognition of the pivotal role that the United States Congress must play in confronting these challenges,” Fox News reported.

Beijing’s Response

When the bill was first introduced on June 16, Beijing’s mouthpiece Global Times claimed the bill was “provocative” and “evil;” it is America playing the “Taiwan Card to contain China,” but “it will not change the fact that Taiwan is part of China.”

According to The Hill report on Sept. 14, Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. warned, “Once passed as law, it will have a subversive impact on China-US relations and send a gravely wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.”

In a typical claim of the regime, Liu demanded that America “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”

The Communist regime, founded in 1949, has never ruled Taiwan; but insists Taiwan is part of its sovereignty since the then Nationalist led government overthrew the Qing Empire during 1911-1912, defeated the invading Japanese during World War II, but lost the civil war and retreated to Taiwan in 1949.

Taiwan, under the free democratic ruling and open market economic system, has evolved into an important partner for “security and economic growth for the United States, Taiwan, and the entire Indo-Pacific region,” as stated in the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022.

Mary Hong

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Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported on Chinese human rights issues and politics.

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