The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on December 8 authorizing up to $10 billion in funding to increase security cooperation with Taiwan, among other programs. The actions would help the island fend off Beijing’s pressure.
According to The Straits Times, the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) includes the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act. The Bill authorizes Taiwan to receive up to $10 billion in annual military aid over the next five years and expedites its weapons procurement.
The Bill also provides provisions to encourage Taipei’s inclusion in international organizations besides preventing China from pressuring nations that enhance their support for Taiwan.
According to Bloomberg News, Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said, “The China challenge has become the most significant national security issue our nation has faced in a generation.”
Mr. Menendez and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham had previously circulated legislation that served as the foundation for the Taiwan section of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
Menendez stated, “I am incredibly proud to help Congress continue to make the necessary reforms and investments to bolster our support for Taiwan’s democracy before it is too late.”
Menendez added that to help Taiwan prevent an invasion, the U.S. has to increase its support for this island in light of China’s military build-up. The Senate will take up the bill next week.
The legislation lands as Biden tries to balance forceful policies against China—U.S. top strategic competitor.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters after the Bill was passed on December 8 that Beijing is “firmly opposed” to the U.S. adopting the Bill to pass “negative content related to China.”
Even though Taiwan has been governed independently of China since 1949, China has long viewed this self-ruled island as part of its territory. Beijing also vowed to use force to “unify” the democratically-governed island with the mainland.