The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has recommended that the US Congress keep a closer eye on US arms sales to Taiwan. It also wants the White House to report to Congress on every decision to “reject, delay or alter” arms sales requests from Taipei.
The recommendations are contained in a draft copy of the commission’s annual report, which is to be released later this month.
While the report could still be changed, it is unlikely that the formal conclusions will be altered at this stage. The section of the report dealing with Taiwan contains eight recommendations from the congressionally appointed commission.
It recommends that Congress amend the US National Defense Authorization Act to direct the Pentagon to include more information about Taiwan in its annual report, including “detailed assessments” of the nation’s military’s current and probable future strategies, force structures, capabilities and technology development.
It also recommends the White House give Congress unclassified details of each of Taiwan’s requests to purchase US weapons and describe Taiwan’s justification for each request, as well as the administration’s response.
The commission wants Congress to direct the US Department of State to provide an unclassified report that explains how the department’s approach to diplomatic relations with Taiwan is affected by the nation’s “unique status.”
“The report should address how these constraints and restraints impact the US’ ability to carry out the rebalance to Asia,” the commission said.
The commission also recommended Congress encourage the White House to continue discussion between Taiwan and the US concerning a bilateral investment agreement.
Once the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is signed, Congress should support Taiwan’s membership, and Cabinet-level US officials should be encouraged to visit Taiwan to promote commercial, technical and people-to-people exchanges, it said.
The commission said Congress should permit official travel to Taiwan by senior State Department and Pentagon officials and Congress should require anyone appointed to be director of the American Institute in Taiwan to be confirmed by the Senate.
It is a list of potentially significant changes in the relationship that could bring the two countries closer, it said.
While gathering information for its report, the commission met with Taiwanese officials in Washington and Taipei, and held talks with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in July.
“The opposition DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] has increased engagement with the US to repair perceived damage to bilateral ties and to rebrand the party’s image as a ‘responsible’ alternative to the ruling KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party],” the report said.
“Since the late 1990s, China’s military modernization has focused on improving its capabilities for Taiwan conflict scenarios that include US intervention,” the report added.
“The key shortcoming in Taiwan’s defensive capabilities is its inability to survive initial Chinese air and missile strikes due to insufficient infrastructure hardening and lack of mobile systems,” the report said.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts