U.S. continues to support Taiwan’s self-defense capability

Baucus China

Retiring Montana Sen. Max Baucus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination to become US ambassador to China. Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a switch for the six-term Democrat from Montana. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus is used to vetting nominees. On Tuesday he will be answering questions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By Known

Michael D. Lumpkin, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, spoke during a congressional hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services that the Pentagon will continue to offer Taiwan self-defense weapons in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979 so as to maintain fundamental defensive capabilities. At the same time, Max Baucus, the senior U.S Senator nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China, said he welcomes a peaceful solution to the cross-strait issues when testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lumpkin said during the hearing for reviewing administration's ongoing rebalance of military forces in the Asia-Pacific region that the rebalancing policy and security is carried out through military deployment and inking partnership with Asian allies including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and Philippines.

Lumpkin indicated that the Pentagon will continue to provide Taiwan defensive equipment under the country's one-China policy, Three Communiqués between China and the U.S., and the TRA. In the meantime, the Pentagon will keep working with China in counter-piracy operations, medical service in military, humanitarian aid, and rescue works in natural disasters as part of its Asia policy.

At another hearing at Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Baucus faced mostly friendly questions from members of both parties. Baucus said during a congressional hearing that if his nomination is approved, he will work to implement the commitment from the TRA and will urge China to reduce deployment of armed forces against Taiwan. According to media report, Baucus is highly likely to win confirmation of nomination by the Senate in early February.