U.S. bill offers Taiwan military aid

American senators’ proposed $4.5-billion assistance angers China

September 16, 2022

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Senate committee took the first step Wednesday toward the United States directly providing billions of dollars in military aid to Taiwan and making ties more official, ramping up support following soaring tensions with Beijing.

The US for decades has sold weapons to Taiwan but the new legislation will go further by providing US security assistance of $4.5 billion over four years, a step sure to infuriate Beijing.

It also lays out sanctions on China if it uses force to try to seize the island.

With support from both parties, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Taiwan Policy Act, billed as the most sweeping upgrade of the relationship since the US switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Lawmakers moved ahead on the act amid heightened worries for Taiwan after Russia invaded Ukraine and following a visit to Taipei by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which prompted China to stage major military exercises seen as a trial run for an invasion.

Senator Bob Menendez, a member of Biden’s Democratic Party who leads the committee, said that the US “does not seek war or heightened tensions with Beijing” but needed to be “clear-eyed.”

“We are carefully and strategically lowering the existential threats facing Taiwan by raising the cost of taking the island by force so that it becomes too high a risk and unachievable,” Menendez said.


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