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US lawmaker proposes bill to boost Taiwan's asymmetric defence capabilities

A lawmaker from the US state of Wisconsin has introduced a bill aimed at increasing Taiwan's asymmetric defence capabilities against China's military aggression


A Taiwanese flag flaps in the wind in Taoyuan, Taiwan. REUTERS/Ann Wang

A lawmaker from the US state of Wisconsin has introduced a bill aimed at increasing Taiwan's asymmetric defence capabilities against China's military aggression.
Representative Mike Gallagher introduced the Arm Taiwan Act, which would strengthen Taiwan's defences against a Chinese invasion by allocating USD 3 billion annually for a new Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative.
According to a press release, the act would also condition future conventional arms sales on Taiwan's progress in preparing its military and fielding the weapons required to defeat China's war plans.
"General Secretary Xi Jinping has made the unification of Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary, a key part of his legacy and the CCP is only growing more aggressive watching the Biden Administration's weakness in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Iran. Congress needs to step up to restore deterrence before it is too late. I am proud to join Senator Hawley in introducing the Arm Taiwan Act to provide Taiwan with the necessary resources and weapons to defeat an attempted invasion," said Rep. Gallagher.
The Arm Taiwan Act urges the US Secretary of Defence to form the Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative and authorizes USD 3 billion annually for the initiative for fiscal years 2023 to 2027.
The act specifies how funds authorized for the initiative should be used, with a specific emphasis on providing Taiwan with equipment, training, and other support required to accelerate Taiwan's deployment of the asymmetric defence capabilities required to delay, degrade, and deny a Chinese invasion against Taiwan.
Gallagher said the funding will be conditional on the annual certification that Taiwan is matching US investments in its asymmetric defences, increasing defence spending, acquiring asymmetric defence capabilities as quickly as possible.
"If the People's Republic of China were to invade and seize control of Taiwan, it would deal a severe blow to United States interests by destroying one of the world's leading democracies, casting doubt on the ability and resolve of the United States to uphold its security commitments; incentivizing other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to bandwagon with the People's Republic of China; and facilitating the formation of a regional order dominated by the People's Republic of China," the bill reads.
Earlier in November 2021, Republican Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator for Missouri, introduced an identical Arm Taiwan Act.
China continues to stake claims over Taiwan despite its self-governance for over seven decades.Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous country with political and economic relations with several other nations.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 23 2022 | 8:55 AM IST

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