TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday (Dec. 7) finalized a deal on a defense spending bill that includes sections calling for the country's participation in the 2022 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and recommending Taiwan's asymmetric defense capabilities be strengthened.
Top Democrats and Republicans from the Senate and House armed services committees struck a deal on Tuesday on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022 NDAA), ensuring its passage in both legislative bodies and signing by President Biden. The total amount of the bill is US$768 billion, including US$7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to counter China's growing power and influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Section 1243 calls on the secretary of defense to submit a report by Feb. 15, 2022, at the latest on the "feasibility and advisability" of enhanced cooperation between the National Guard and Taiwan. The bill in Section 1247 calls for continued support for Taiwan's military to enable it to maintain a "sufficient self-defense capability."
In Section 1248, the bill states that "naval forces of Taiwan should be invited to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise conducted in 2022." The U.S. military-led RIMPAC exercise, held every two years, is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise.
Regarding intelligence, Section 1253 calls on the director of national intelligence to submit a report on any operations carried out by China to undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and list efforts by the U.S. to counter such operations. Section 1254 recommends building up Taiwan's asymmetric defenses, including "anti-ship, coastal defense, anti-armor, air defense, undersea warfare, advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and resilient command" capabilities.