TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A draft of the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA) was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
The bill, which was first drafted for the Senate by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, is intended to enable the U.S. to fulfill its obligations — as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act — given 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.
On Wednesday (July 1), Mike Gallagher introduced an identical version of the bill to the House to ensure the U.S. can continue to meet its commitments to Taiwan amid the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) "aggressive military build-up," according to a press release issued by his office. He said that, in addition to defeating a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, regular reports on the progress toward meeting this goal would be required.
Gallagher stated that in passing the Hong Kong national security law on Tuesday (June 30), the CCP put an "end to one country, two systems." He warned, "No longer can anyone harbor the illusion that the CCP would unify peacefully with Taiwan."
He then announced that it was time to end "strategic ambiguity" about Taiwan's status and to "draw a clear red line through the Taiwan Strait." The congressman asserted that Taiwan's liberty is "vital to the national security interests of the United States," and the bill would be key to ensuring Taiwan has the military wherewithal to fend off Chinese military aggression.
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 ensure that U.S. forces can continue to defend Taiwan following the use of nuclear weapons by China or the U.S.
As part of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), the bill would require an annual report on objectives needed to prevent a fait accompli, joint warfighting capabilities and preparations being made for U.S. forces, assessment of the effectiveness of FYDP programs for U.S. forces, and additional investments or force posture adjustments needed.
The tweet Gallagher released on July 1 announced his submission of the bill to the House:
Yesterday, we saw the CCP end one country, two systems. We must ensure Taiwan never falls to the same fate. My bill with @HawleyMO helps ensure the US military has the capabilities and resources it needs to block a CCP invasion of Taiwan. https://t.co/q8A19S5OBc
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) July 1, 2020