Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and US Representative Michelle Steel yesterday discussed in a teleconference the US’ proposed “Taiwan democracy defense lend-lease act” and further economic collaborations between the two countries.
Ker said that Steel is a long-time supporter of Taiwan and has often urged the administration of US President Joe Biden to guarantee Taiwan’s safety, and praised Taiwan’s COVID-19 pandemic prevention efforts.
The bill, cosponsored by Steel along with US senators Marsha Blackburn and Rick Scott, would authorize the expedited lending or leasing of defense equipment to Taiwan.
Photo: screen grab from Ker Chien-ming’s Facebook account
In addition, the bill would allow the US to send weapons to Taiwan with a proposed 12-year window for repayment for their lending or leasing.
Taiwan thanked Steel and the two other lawmakers for supporting Taiwan, and for stepping outside the traditional “box” of arms sale packages to propose an innovative and meaningful bill, Ker said.
Current arms package processes are extremely complex, and the bill could bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, Ker said, adding that he hoped the bill is supported in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Steel said she hoped the bill could clear Congress soon, adding that she had asked Biden in writing to authorize the Taiwan arms sales package quickly.
Ker told Steel during the call that, faced with Chinese aggression, Taiwan does not seek to escalate the situation nor provoke Beijing.
Still, Taiwan will not back away from defending itself, Ker said, adding: “The Taiwanese people have the confidence and the courage to defend our autonomy,” he added.
Ker and Steel also discussed increased opportunities to collaborate economically.
Steel voiced strong support for signing a US-Taiwan free-trade pact and Taiwan’s inclusion in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
Ker thanked Steel for her support and said that Taiwan’s strengths in its economy, trade, science research and development, and industry allow it to contribute to world affairs.
He also asked Steel to call for the US to support Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
RESTRICTION EASED: Passengers would no longer be directed to designated waiting areas, and be allowed to shop and dine, the operator of the airport said International travelers transiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would from today be allowed to go shopping and dine in the airport’s departure areas, the airport operator said, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) eased some border restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Taoyuan International Airport Corp said reopening borders is a global trend, and since reallowing transit passengers from June 15, the airport has continued to review its procedures to improve services and efficiency. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, inspected the airport on July 22, while Deputy Minister of Transportation and
BLOCKADE RUNNERS: The military should prepare to cope with a possible blockade of Taiwan, and the latest drills give China a new basis for exercises, security experts said Taiwan should pay close attention to whether China will normalize military drills around the nation, experts said yesterday, adding that the military must devise coping strategies. China from Thursday to yesterday conducted its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan in retaliation for a visit last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Although the nation’s armed forces have won public support by condemning the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for bullying Taiwan, the military should bolster its capabilities, Institute of National Defense and Security Research research fellow Su Tzu-yun