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Home The News News US lawmakers urge better cooperation

US lawmakers urge better cooperation

US lawmakers on Thursday introduced new legislation to strengthen Taiwan-US defense cooperation to counter Beijing’s aggression.

US senators Jacky Rosen and Dan Sullivan, along with US representatives Michelle Steel and Steven Horsford, introduced the bipartisan and bicameral bill, transpacific allies investing in weapons to advance national (TAIWAN) security act, calling for stronger Taiwan-US defense cooperation “to counter China’s growing military expansion in the region,” Rosen’s office said in a statement.

The bill requires the US Secretary of Defense “to enhance defense industrial base cooperation” between Washington and Taipei to “deepen US-Taiwan defense ties, promote supply chain security and help alleviate Taiwan’s readiness challenges,” it said.

The US Capitol Building in Washington is pictured on Tuesday last week.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Under the bill, the US Department of Defense should submit a report to the US Congress on the feasibility and advisability of signing a defense industry cooperation agreement with Taiwan within 180 days of the act taking effect, Voice of America reported yesterday.

The bill requires the Pentagon to deliberate on several factors, including whether Taiwan is eligible to receive funds from the US department to join defense cooperation projects, and whether Taiwan is eligible to enter into a memorandum or other formal agreements with the US, it said.

In the face of Beijing’s rapid military buildup and aggression toward Taiwan, Rosen called on the US to “not only ensure our strength, but also bolster the strength of our democratic ally, Taiwan,” it said.

“It is no secret that communist China’s evil dictator, [Chinese President] Xi Jinping (習近平), is planning to invade Taiwan and continue his attacks against democracy in a quest for world domination,” said US Senator Rick Scott, who joined Rosen in introducing the bill.

The US should support its “peaceful and democratic ally Taiwan and its military” as the action would “send a strong message to communist China that America stands strong with Taiwan and will not bow to the will of an evil communist regime,” he added.

Other sponsors of the bill, including US senators Tim Kaine, Tammy Duckworth and Joni Ernst, described Taiwan as the US’ important partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

Horsford said that the bill, which is modeled on the cooperation between the US and India, “will bolster the Indo-Pacific’s stability in the face of growing military challenges from China.”

The US must show its “steadfast commitment to our allies, including Taiwan” to deter China’s expansion and protect democracy, Steel said.

The bill is to be reviewed and passed by the committees of both chambers, and if passed would be sent to the US Senate and the US House of Representatives to be voted on.

A day before the bill was introduced, vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) called for Taiwan’s inclusion in the US defense supply chain at the Hill and Valley Forum in Washington.

Rosen was one of the US lawmakers who introduced the Taiwan Cybersecurity Resiliency Act last year to authorize the US department to conduct cybersecurity exercises with Taiwan, and defend the nation’s military networks and infrastructure.

The act was incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 and signed into law.

Source: Taipei Times - 2024/05/04

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Premier Su Tseng-chang, right, bumps elbows with visiting US Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.
Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan

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