Republican Senators request military aid for Taiwan amid pressure from China

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Republican Senators introduced a bill seeking to increase military aid to Taiwan amid growing tensions with China.

The bill, titled the Taiwan Deterrence Act, is aimed at strengthening Taiwan’s defenses in order to stave off aggression across the Taiwan Strait and attacks from China.

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho), is the lead sponsor of the bill, with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joining as co-sponsors.

The bill looks to give $2 billion a year in military grants and loans to Taiwan until 2032 — as long as the country meets certain conditions.

Those conditions include Taiwan matching the influx of aid with its own spending and agreeing to engage with the U.S. in long-term planning about how to increase the island’s defense capabilities.

The bill would also amend the Arms Export Control Act to enable the U.S. to sell arms to Taiwan more easily. 

If the bill is passed, a yearly assessment would be done to evaluate Taiwan’s defenses against China, who has recently been flying warplanes into the island’s air defense identification zone.  

“The defense of Taiwan is critical to the future peace and security of the entire Indo-Pacific region,” Risch said in a statement. “This legislation authorizes $2 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing for Taiwan, but it is not a blank check. This funding is contingent on Taiwan’s commitment to further advance initiatives championed by President Tsai to build a credible defense.”

The bill was introduced as Taiwan announced it is increasing training to its reserve forces. 

A top Taiwan security official recently said China had internally debated attacking islands Taiwan controls, but decided to wait until 2024.

Tags China Jim Risch John Cornyn Marco Rubio Mike Crapo military aid Mitt Romney Taiwan

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