Senators back bipartisan legislation that would assist Taiwan in efforts to defend itself and deter Chinese aggression.
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined his colleagues as a cosponsor of the Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act.
The bipartisan bill would evaluate opportunities to deliver lethal aid to Taiwan, boost Taiwan’s reconnaissance capabilities, and potentially bolster munitions stockpiles near Taiwan.
Specifically, the Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act would improve Taiwan’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to provide better detection of PRC activities indicating a direct threat. The measure would explore the potential for pre-positioning stock on or near the island to aid Taiwan’s ability to endure conflict.
The bill would also identify weapons systems and other lethal aid that could be delivered to Taiwan using existing authorities, like the Presidential Drawdown Authority, as well as potential barriers to delivering aid once a military invasion or blockade has started to ensure appropriate speed of action in providing such lethal aid.
Senator Wicker said that China is amassing military power at an alarming pace, posing a major threat to our vital democratic ally, Taiwan.
“Keeping Taiwan safe will require effective deterrence. I am glad to work on a bipartisan effort to provide Taiwan the high-end equipment it needs to deter China,” Wicker said.
The introduction of the Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act follows arguments that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 could embolden Beijing to invade Taiwan.
“The paramount lesson from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that repeated threats of economic sanctions didn’t deter Vladimir Putin from launching an all-out invasion. This offers a warning for Taiwan, the U.S. and their allies as threats from China loom,” Wicker and Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“Any wolf has the ability to kill a gentle porcupine. And yet such an attack virtually never occurs in nature. The defense of the porcupine’s quills, which can rip through the predator’s mouth and throat, is the deterrent that protects the small creature in the violent woods,” the op-ed continued. “Through the force-multiplying miracle of modern weapons, we can help make Taiwan a porcupine and deter aggression that could have profoundly negative consequences for Taiwan, China and the world.”
CBS reported last week that President Biden said the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan. The President said the burden to protect Taiwan was “even stronger” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“That’s the commitment we made,” President Biden said. “We agree with a ‘One China’ policy. We signed onto it and all the attendant agreements made from there. But the idea that it [Taiwan] could be taken by force, just taken by force, it’s just not — it’s just not appropriate. It’ll dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. And so it’s a burden that is even stronger.”
Wicker, along with U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) also joined around fifty of their Senate colleagues earlier this month in sending a letter to President Biden urging the Administration’s inclusion of Taiwan as a partner in the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
In addition to recognizing Taiwan’s importance to the U.S. as an important trading partner, the senators noted that including Taiwan in the IPEF would be an invaluable signal of our rock-solid commitment to Taiwan and its prosperity and freedom.
“The more economic engagement U.S. and allies and partners have with Taiwan, the stronger our collective resilience against coercion,” the senators wrote. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the value of tangible economic support by the United States and like-minded allies and partners, and the same is true for Taiwan.
You can read the full copy of the Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act below.
Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act by yallpolitics on Scribd