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U.S. senators calm troubled Taiwan Strait waters with bill

Taiwan ASSURE Act promotes dialogue, transparency to avoid cross-strait conflict

U.S. Senate and Capitol dome.

U.S. Senate and Capitol dome. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two U.S. senators on Wednesday (Oct. 20) introduced a pro-Taiwan bill that aims to reduce friction with China.

The Taiwan Actions Supporting Security by Undertaking Regular Engagements (Taiwan ASSURE) Act seeks dialogue and transparency and was introduced by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey, Chair of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Dan Sullivan.

Markey noted that a spike in military activity in the Taiwan Strait has increased the “possibility of accidents and inadvertent escalation,” according to a press release.

“We must find ways to lower tensions and avoid miscalculation in the Taiwan Strait,” he said, adding the bipartisan bill will help address issues related to U.S. security in the Indo-Pacific.

The senator stressed the U.S. must continue backing Taiwan’s international participation and help the country “withstand cross-strait coercion.” At the same time, it should take precautionary steps to prevent conflict in the region.

The proposed legislation authorizes funds to support a mix of existing government and non-government strategic dialogues facilitated by independent, non-profit organizations. It also allows the U.S. to provide the Global Cooperation and Training Framework with US$6 million (NT$167 million) per year for fiscal years 2022-2025.

The bill stipulates the secretaries of state and defense submit a report assessing the viability of establishing a partnership between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan’s Reserve Command.

It also requires the state and defense departments to publish a report “detailing the military-to-military dialogues and confidence-building measures, as well as bilateral and multilateral diplomatic engagements, on cross-strait issues between the U.S. and the government of China over the last 10 years.”

Updated : 2021-11-28 14:56 GMT+08:00