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U.S. lawmaker proposes bill to boost Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities

2022-01-23
Focus Taiwan
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U.S. lawmaker proposes bill to boost Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities
U.S. lawmaker proposes bill to boost Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities

Washington, Jan. 21 (CNA) Mike Gallagher, a U.S. Republican House Representative from Wisconsin, on Friday introduced a bill aimed at increasing Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities against China's military aggression.

Under the proposed Arm Taiwan Act of 2021, the United States will strengthen Taiwan's defenses against a Chinese invasion by allocating US$3 billion every year for a new Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative, Gallagher said in a statement.

The proposed Act will make Taiwan's progress in preparing its military and fielding the weapons required to defeat an attack by China a condition for future conventional arms sales to the island, the American lawmaker said.

"General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) has made unification of Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary, a key part of his legacy and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is only growing more aggressive watching the Biden Administration's weakness in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Iran," Gallagher said.

"Congress needs to step up to restore deterrence before it is too late. I am proud to join Senator Hawley in introducing the Arm Taiwan Act to provide Taiwan with the necessary resources and weapons to defeat an attempted invasion," Gallagher added.

In November 2021, Republican Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator for Missouri, introduced an identical Arm Taiwan Act.

According to the Act, the U.S. secretary of defense will be tasked with establishing an initiative, to be known as the "Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative" to accelerate Taiwan's deployment of asymmetric defense capabilities required to delay, degrade, and deny a Chinese invasion against Taiwan.

The Act said the Department of Defense will be authorized to appropriate US$3 billion each fiscal year from 2023 through 2027 to provide assistance to Taiwan's government.

Gallagher said under the bill, funding will be conditional on the annual certification that Taiwan is matching U.S. investments in its asymmetric defenses, increasing defense spending, acquiring asymmetric defense capabilities as quickly as possible regardless of the source, and implementing defense reforms, especially with regard to Taiwan's reserve forces.

"If the People's Republic of China were to invade and seize control of Taiwan, it would deal a severe blow to United States interests by destroying one of the world's leading democracies, casting doubt on the ability and resolve of the United States to uphold its security commitments; incentivizing other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to bandwagon with the People's Republic of China; and facilitating the formation of a regional order dominated by the People's Republic of China," the bill reads.

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