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US House seeks to invite Taiwan to RIMPAC

US House seeks to invite Taiwan to RIMPAC

Washington, May 16 (CNA) The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the U.S. military budget for 2016, with an amendment that stipulates if the Department of Defense invites Beijing to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), a similar invitation must also be extended to Taiwan. The amendment is proposed by Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina.
The amendment said U.S. Secretary of Defense "shall invite the military forces of Taiwan to participate in any maritime exercise known as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise" if he has invited the military forces of the People's Republic of China to participate.
The amendment specified that "this section takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act." The National Defense Authorization Act, which passed 269 to 151, will go to U.S. President Barak Obama only after the Senate passes the same or a similar bill. China's navy took part in the RIMPAC, the largest international maritime warfare exercise in the world, in the summer of 2014. After being informed of the news, Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesman Major General Luo Shou-he (???) said in Taipei that the Republic of China military welcomed the development. The MND intends to play a more active role in regional security, shouldering more responsibility for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific, and is keen to be an observer at international organizations focused on security and cooperation and take part in such joint exercises, Luo added. "We have expressed our willingness to take part in RIMPAC," Deputy Defense Minister Admiral Chen Yung-kang (???) said on April 20 in Taipei, local media reported last month. Talks are under way between the ROC Navy and the U.S. Navy on the use of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), Chen said at a committee meeting in the Legislature. After establishing a CUES protocol based on international radio signal communication procedures, the ROC Navy "could have the opportunity to take the next step of participating in joint multinational naval exercises," Chen said. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and China reached agreement on CUES with the U.S., before being allowed to participate in joint exercises and expand cooperation between their armed forces and that of the U.S., Chen added. Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, which Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter last week described as a road to nowhere, the New York Times reported on Friday. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he hoped the two chambers would work together to produce a bill the president will sign, according to the paper. (By Tony Liao, Claudia Liu and Kuo Chung-han)


Updated : 2021-09-23 20:20 GMT+08:00