The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed an annual defense policy bill with provisions to reinforce the country’s partnership with Taiwan, including requiring the US president to invite the nation’s military to join US-led drills in the Asia-Pacific region.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which authorizes annual programs and spending for the US Department of Defense and other US national security programs, was passed by 329 yes votes, while 101 representatives voted against the bill.
Several pro-Taiwan bills were passed as amendments to the act.
They included the Taiwan Peace and Stability Act, which focuses on enhancing deterrence measures in the Taiwan Strait; the Taiwan Fellowship Act, which is to give US policymakers the opportunity to live and work in Taiwan; and the Arms Exports Delivery Solutions Act, which seeks to track and expedite deliveries of US arms sales to Taiwan amid growing cross-strait tensions.
US Representative Ami Bera, who introduced the Taiwan Peace and Stability Act with US Representative Steve Chabot, called the passage of the act “great news.”
Bera — a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Central Asia — wrote on Twitter that the passage of the act showed bipartisan support for Taiwan.
“This bipartisan legislation strengthens the U.S.-Taiwan partnership and enhances deterrence over Beijing’s attempts to intimidate and isolate #Taiwan,” Bera wrote.
In a separate statement on his Web site, Bera said the Taiwan Peace and Stability Act “signals a path forward on U.S. policy toward Taiwan.”
“Specifically, the legislation drives a whole of government review of options to enhance deterrence over a cross-Strait conflict, strengthens U.S. support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community, and advances U.S.-Taiwan economic ties,” he wrote.
The summary about the defense authorization act released by the House showed the legislation would reaffirm US support for the defense of Taiwan, while aiming to reaffirm the US Indo-Pacific Command’s authority to conduct joint exercises with Taiwan, “no matter what the Chinese say.”
In addition, it requires the administration of US President Joe Biden to invite Taiwan to join the 2024 Rim of the Pacific exercise to improve the readiness of the nation’s forces and fully fund military exercises with its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s increasing reach.
The defense authorization act also requires the US government to assess Taiwan’s air defense capabilities and recommend ways to improve them, while requiring regular updates on the status of deliveries of US military assistance to Taiwan and efforts to expedite such deliveries.
As the bill included 650 amendments, the full content is not to be released until the House’s staff complete the compilation.
On June 16, the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee passed its own version of the defense authorization act, but the legislation is pending approval from the full Senate.
Typically, chambers of the US Congress would pass their own versions of such an act and negotiate a reconciliation of the bills before sending it to the president to sign into law.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Congress for deepening bilateral military cooperation and exchanges, saying that the passage of the bill “showed the US Congress’ bipartisan support for Taiwan’s national defense ability, and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
The ministry said it would continue to monitor the review process of the defense authorization act, and keep in touch with the US agencies and congress members involved.
‘HONORED’: The DPP’s Lin Fei-fan said friends working in the foreign media, the diplomatic corps and at think tanks congratulated him for making the sanctions list The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday slammed China for sanctioning Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and six other Taiwanese officials for being “diehard separatists,” saying its attempt to intimidate Taiwanese would backfire. China has no authority to dictate the actions of Taiwanese, because Taiwan is a democratic nation that upholds the rule of law, and would never yield to intimidation and threats from an authoritarian regime, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency earlier yesterday reported that the Taiwan Work Office of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has imposed
THAI ASSISTANCE: The representative office in Thailand worked with local authorities to help trafficking victims return home, while one in the group has been charged Eight Taiwanese who were lured to Cambodia with lucrative job offers only to be forced to work illegally were brought home on Sunday night in a joint effort between Taiwanese and Thai authorities, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said. Nine people — six men and three women aged 23 to 42 — boarded China Airlines Flight CI-836 from Bangkok, with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:55pm and were taken to the Aviation Police Bureau for questioning before entering home isolation in accordance with Taiwan’s COVID-19 regulations. The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday
ORDNANCE: Under a five-year plan, the Chungshan Institute would make about 200 Hsiung Feng II and III/IIIE, and Hsiung Sheng missiles, an official said The Ministry of National Defense plans to counter the Chinese navy by producing more than 1,000 anti-ship missiles over the next five years, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The comments came after China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy began a series of military drills in a simulated naval blockade of Taiwan proper following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Although China has in the past few years rapidly produced many warships and added them to its navy, these large vessels are more suited for warfare on the open sea than in the narrow
The organizers of WorldPride 2025 have canceled the Kaohsiung event because its licensing group, InterPride, demanded that it remove “Taiwan” from the event’s name, they said in a statement yesterday. Kaohsiung was to host WorldPride Taiwan 2025 after being granted the right by the global LGBTQ advocacy group. However, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee said that InterPride recently gave “abrupt notice” asking it to change the name of the event and use “Kaohsiung” instead of “Taiwan,” even though it applied for the event using “Taiwan” in its name. The name was initially chosen for its significance to the Taiwanese LGBTQ community, as