Biden adviser cites ‘some concern’ with Taiwan security bill amid ‘distinct threat’ from China
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration has “some concern” with a Taiwan security bill moving through congress, as he said China continues to pose a “distinct threat” bill for the self-governing island nation.
In an interview with David Rubenstein on Bloomberg’s “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations,” which will air in entirety on Sept. 21, Sullivan said he planned to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022.
The bill would authorize $4.5 billion in funding to Taiwan through 2026, designate the island nation as a “major Non-NATO ally” and impose other measure to counter China’s “aggressive influence campaigns.”
“There are elements of that legislation with respect to how we can strengthen our security assistance for Taiwan that are quite effective and robust,” Sullivan said. “There are other elements that give us some concern.”
The bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Sullivan added in the interview that China has made clear that an invasion of Taiwan is still on the table.
“It remains a distinct threat that there could be a military contingency around Taiwan,” Sullivan told Rubenstein. “That remains one of the potential options for the reunification of Taiwan.”
The Biden administration last week requested Congress approve more than $1 billion in arm sales to Taiwan.
Sullivan said the U.S. remains firm in supporting the status quo toward the contested island, which is a policy of “strategic ambiguity” that acknowledges Taiwan is a part of China but affirms that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) does not have sovereign control over the island nation.
“There should be no unilateral changes to the status quo across the Taiwan strait,” Sullivan said Wednesday. “We continue to believe that and we will continue to push back against any effort to change the status quo.”
The Hill has reached out to the National Security Agency and the White House for more information on the concerns cited by Sullivan.
A PRC invasion of Taiwan has been a rising concern as Chinese officials have ramped up rhetoric on reclaiming Taiwan, which has governed independently of China since 1949.
Beijing has also escalated military drills in the Taiwan Strait and around the island, which is just off the Chinese mainland.
Last month, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led a delegation to Taiwan, drawing the ire of the PRC, which launched missiles over the island and executed unprecedented military drills.