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US House passes defense bill supportive of Taiwan

House of Representatives passes National Defense Authorization Act 2021

U.S., Taiwan flags (Getty Images)

U.S., Taiwan flags (Getty Images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday (Dec. 8) passed the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes two provisions supporting Taiwan.

The House passed the 2021 NDAA Tuesday evening with 335 votes in favor and 78 votes against. The Senate is expected to vote on it later this week. The bill must be passed by the Senate and signed by President Trump before it becomes law.

The parts of the bill related to Taiwan include a section calling for continued arms sales to the country, a “timely review and response” to Taiwan’s request for defense articles, and expansion of the bilateral military partnership. The section also suggests increased cooperation on medical security, including research and production of vaccines and joint conferences participated in by scientists and other experts.

The other section protects Taiwanese citizens from discrimination in employment decisions at international financial organizations.

In addition to supporting Taiwan, the bill also establishes a "Pacific Deterrence Initiative" to enhance America’s defense posture, assure allies and partners, and increase the U.S. military's capabilities and readiness in the Indo-Pacific region.

However, before the House of Representatives convened Tuesday morning, President Trump called on Republican representatives via Twitter to oppose the NDAA 2021 and threatened to veto the bill if it passes. The president said the bill must include provisions that terminate section 230 of the Communications Correction Act, preserve America’s national monuments, allow 5G technology, and reduces troop numbers abroad.

House Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee Adam Smith has stated that if Trump vetoes the bill, the House would not rule out overturning the veto.

Updated : 2021-10-20 03:47 GMT+08:00