Lawmakers yesterday expressed their support for a bill proposed in the US Congress to include Taiwan in the NATO-plus-five framework.
The proposed “Taiwan PLUS Act” was introduced in the US House of Representatives on March 19 and has since been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Voice of America’s Chinese-language service reported on Tuesday.
The bill says that support for defense cooperation with Taiwan is critical to US national security and urges that Taiwan be included in the NATO framework including Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
“Taiwan has become an important partner to other democratic nations at a time when China is aggressively pushing to expand its territory,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said yesterday. “The US including Taiwan in the framework would be proof to the world that Taiwan is an independent nation.”
“Many nations have said that the situation in the Taiwan Strait is not just Taiwan’s problem. Taiwan must continue to enhance its military capabilities, and cooperate more with the US, and other friendly nations in the region,” Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said.
Taiwan has since 2003 been treated as a major non-NATO ally, although it is not formally designated as such, the bill says.
The status of a major US ally outside the treaty makes a country eligible for a range of defense-related privileges, but does not entail any additional security commitments.
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