TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (NDAA FY23) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (July 14) includes an invitation for Taiwan to take part in the 2024 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.
Included as an amendment was the Taiwan Peace and Stability Act, which had been proposed by Ami Bera, the Democratic chair of the House foreign affairs Asia subcommittee, to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. In addition, Representative Young Kim and Representative Michael McCaul proposed an amendment requiring the executive branch to explain the reasons for the delay in the delivery of arms sales to Taiwan and to expedite the process.
After days of lengthy debates, the U.S. House of Representatives passed NDAA FY23 Thursday evening with 329 voting in favor and 101 opposed. With as many as 650 proposed amendments, the final bill will not be released until they are sorted out by the House.
In a tweet posted that evening, Bera wrote that the Taiwan Peace and Stability Act had passed as an amendment to the defense spending bill. He wrote that the act "strengthens the U.S.-Taiwan partnership and enhances deterrence over Beijing attempts to intimidate and isolate #Taiwan."
The Taiwan Peace and Stability Act proposed by Bera and Representative Steve Chabot requires the Biden administration to submit a report within 90 days on a "whole-of-government strategy" to enhance deterrence against a conflict in the Taiwan Strait and focus on cooperation with allies. The bill also requires U.S. agencies to analyze ways to assist Taiwan's economy and expand development.
According to a summary of the defense act released by the House, the bill reaffirmed U.S. support for Taiwan's defense, reiterated the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has the legal right to conduct exercises with Taiwan, and invited Taiwan to participate in the 2024 RIMPAC to improve Taiwan's military readiness.
Taiwan was excluded from this year's RIMPAC exercises despite a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act calling for the country's participation.