TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Representative Michael McCaul, Republican leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee, joined 36 other colleagues to introduce the house version of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 on Tuesday (Sept. 28) to bolster Taiwan’s defense and update American policy toward Taiwan.
“Taiwan is a critical national security partner for the U.S. whose democracy is under an unprecedented level of threat from the CCP,” McCaul said, per a foreign affairs committee press release. “Now is the time to arm our ally — before an invasion, not after.”
The Texas representative said he was proud to propose the legislation to “improve Taiwan’s defense immediately.” He added that deterrence is vital to preventing the Chinese Communist Party from instigating a conflict that would threaten U.S. national security.
The house bill calls for the renaming of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office as the Taiwan Representative Office and requires the top U.S. diplomat in Taiwan to receive senate confirmation.
The legislation would also require the U.S. to sell Taiwan weapons “conducive to deterring acts of aggression” and to enable the East Asian democracy to formulate a strategy to counter acts of coercion.
Additionally, the bill authorizes up to US$6.5 billion (NT$ 207 billion) in Foreign Military Financing over five fiscal years, based on Taiwan “increasing non-personnel defense spending.” It also supports Taiwan’s participation in U.N.-affiliated organizations and encourages free trade with the nation.
On Sept. 14, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved its own version of the bill, with 17 members voting in favor and five voting against, according to Reuters.
The senate committee’s version originally designated the country as a “Major Non-NATO Ally.” However, after Beijing protested, the Biden administration pressured the committee to remove “symbolic” language that would anger China.
Thus, the provision subsequently called for Taiwan to receive “treatment equal to” that of a main Non-NATO ally.
In response to the senate committee's approval of the bill, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) said on Sept. 15 that it "seriously breaches the U.S.' commitment to China on the Taiwan question." Mao claimed that it violates the "one-China" principle, three China-U.S. joint communiques, and amounts to interference in China's "internal affairs."