US Representative Mike Gallagher on Wednesday introduced the House of Representatives’ version of the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA), the congressman’s office said in a press release, amid increased Chinese military activity near Taiwan.
The bill would ensure that the US can continue meeting its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in the face of an aggressive military buildup by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the statement said.
The TRA — enacted by the US Congress in 1979 after Washington established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China — aims to ensure the continuation of substantial de facto diplomatic and economic relations between the US and Taiwan.
In the act, the US pledges to provide Taiwan with weapons of a self-defensive character for the nation’s sufficient self-defense.
The act does not guarantee that the US will come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of a Chinese invasion, but neither does it relinquish the US’ right to intervene militarily.
Gallagher, referring to Tuesday’s passage of Hong Kong national security legislation by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, was quoted in the statement as saying: “We saw the CCP end ‘one country, two systems.’ No longer can anyone harbor the illusion that the CCP would unify peacefully with Taiwan.”
Some have feared the legislation could be used to persecute pro-democracy protesters, activists and dissidents, and lead to an erosion of the territory’s promised autonomy and freedoms.
“It’s long past time to end strategic ambiguity and draw a clear red line through the Taiwan Strait,” Gallagher said. “Taiwan’s liberty is a vital national security interest of the United States and the Taiwan Defense Act helps ensure our military has the capabilities it needs to block CCP aggression.”
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