Wed, Jul 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Consensus reached on US defense bill with support for Taiwan’s self-defense

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

The US Senate and House of Representatives on Monday reached a consensus on an annual defense authorization bill that would include a provision expressing support for the strengthening of Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, but have yet to release the final version of the bill.

Based on summaries of the reconciliation process issued by the Senate and House armed services committees, the two bodies proposed different wording to declare support for Taiwan in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019.

The Senate Committee on Armed Services’ version said that in terms of Taiwan, the Senate “directs a comprehensive assessment on strengthening Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, and expresses the sense of Congress on the importance of a strong US defense relationship with Taiwan.”

The House Committee on Armed Services’ version said it supports “improving Taiwan’s defense capabilities and force readiness” and the expansion of “joint training, foreign military sales, the use of security cooperation authorities, and senior level military-to-military engagements.”

The actual wording in the final version of the bill will be closer to the Senate’s version, sources familiar with the matter said.

The House is scheduled to vote on the bill by today, and the Senate is expected to vote before it goes into recess next week.

The bill will not become law until it is passed by both houses of Congress in identical form and is signed by US President Donald Trump.

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