TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services deliberated the makeup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2022 on Wednesday (Sept. 1).
According to the draft, the U.S. Congress supported helping Taiwan maintain a sufficient self-defense capability and condemned China’s coercive and provocative behavior towards Taiwan, which it said runs counter to the expectation of a peaceful solution to Taiwan's future, per CNA.
The draft bill also said that under the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan should be assisted in maintaining its ability to resist any force or other form of coercion that might endanger the security or social or economic system in Taiwan.
Congress also suggested in the draft bill that the U.S. should conduct field training and military exercises with Taiwan and ensure officials from the two sides interact at the strategic, policy, and functional levels to bolster U.S.-Taiwan defensive cooperation and improve the interoperability in military force between the two nations.
“The committee supports the executive branch’s continued efforts to counter the Government of the People's Republic of China's aggressive behavior, territorial claims, and violations of rules and international norms, and to increase cooperation with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific and worldwide against these challenges,” House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith pointed out in his remarks.
The Senate version of NDAA 2022 was approved by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on July 23. The bill includes multiple provisions related to Taiwan: assisting Taiwan in improving its defense capabilities, ensuring that the U.S. military maintains the ability to prevent Beijing from unilaterally changing the status quo in Taiwan, and exploring the possibility of cooperation between national militias and Taiwan.
The bill also requires the U.S. secretary of defense to assess Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities and propose a plan to assist Taiwan in improving those capabilities.
The draft bill was approved by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and will be sent to the full House and Senate for a vote.
Due to the differences between the House and Senate versions, the bill will need to be negotiated and re-voted on by both chambers before being sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.