US House passes pro-Taiwan defense bill

The National Defense Authorization Act supports the defense of Taiwan through military sales

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(U.S. Navy photo)

(U.S. Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The U.S. House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 with a vote of 220-197 on Friday (July 12), backing strengthened defense and security cooperation with Taiwan.

The annual defense bill passed by the House is a $733 billion package, while the Senate version of the bill passed on June 26 set aside US$750 billion in total spending, reported CNN.

According to Section 1248 of the NDAA, the U.S. is required to provide assistance to Taiwan through military sales and industrial cooperation, with a focus on asymmetric warfare and undersea warfare capabilities. This is consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.

The section also calls for promotion of defense policies that encourage exchanges with Taiwan and help bolster the country’s security, including mutual visits by senior defense officials. This is in line with the Taiwan Travel Act.

The House and Senate are expected to hold meetings to work out a version of the bill both agree upon. After which, the bill will be signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump.