US senator introduces Taiwan Defense Act

Act aimed at avoiding Chinese military 'fait accompli' in Taiwan

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Thursday (June 11) introduced the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA).

Hawley said the bill is intended to enable the U.S. to fulfill its obligations as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act amid an increasingly powerful and aggressive Chinese military. The proposed act would require the Department of Defense to take steps to ensure Taiwan's ability to thwart a Chinese invasion and specifically a "fait accompli" against Taiwan.

In announcing the bill, Hawley described Taiwan as "the lynchpin of a free and open Indo-Pacific." He added that "If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to seize control of Taiwan, it will stand ready to dominate the region. This would pose an unacceptable threat to the lives and livelihoods not just of our Asian allies and partners but of working Americans here at home. We must not allow that to happen."

The bill defines "fait accompli" as a situation in which China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) manages to overwhelm Taiwan's defenses before the U.S. military can dispatch forces to the region. Under this scenario, PLA forces would control Taiwan and prevent the U.S. from intervening, giving it no choice but to accept China's annexation of Taiwan.

The document recommends denial operations including a "blunt layer" of forward forces to prevent a fait accompli from taking place. It even recommended assessing the use of U.S. nuclear weapons to deter or defeat fait accompli and ensuring U.S. that forces can continue to defend Taiwan following the use of nuclear weapons by China or the U.S.