TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Taiwan Peace Through Strength Act on Friday (July 28).
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Representatives Chris Pappas and Jim Banks and is meant to reinforce America’s support of Taiwan amid increased military threats from China, according to a press release by Pappas. Senator Marco Rubio introduced the Senate version of the bill.
The bill seeks to bolster defensive ties between Washington and Taipei. It would look to expedite and prioritize American military sales to Taiwan and clarify U.S. authorities to arm the country in the Taiwan Relations Act.
The Taiwan Peace through Strength Act would also look to establish regular combined U.S.-Taiwan exercises, training, and professional exchanges. The act would also set up a Taiwan Critical Munitions Acquisition Fund, and apply Ukraine munitions production capacity authorities to Taiwan.
“As Taiwan continues to face threats to its security and sovereignty, the United States must reaffirm our support for and long-term cooperation with Taiwan,” said Representative Pappas. “This legislation would prioritize Taiwan’s resiliency in the face of potential conflicts and expedite the delivery of much-needed resources to ensure they have the capability to defend themselves effectively," he added.
“I’m proud to be leading this bipartisan effort with Senator Rubio to bolster Taiwan’s defenses. Chairman Xi’s extreme rhetoric makes it clear that lawmakers in Washington must act now to deter a Chinese invasion,” said Representative Banks.
Meanwhile, Senator Rubio said the bill “would increase the level of critical technologies provided to Taiwan by fast-tracking the transfer of capabilities and increasing joint training and planning between the U.S. and our strong ally in the Indo-Pacific, as well as stand up a critical munitions fund for Taiwan and backfill stockpiles of key weapons.”
The U.S. on Friday also announced a Taiwan weapons aid package worth up to US$345 million (NT$10.89 billion), according to Reuters. The announcement did not mention the list of arms that were being given to Taiwan.
Congress, as part of the 2023 budget, authorized up to US$1 billion worth of weapons aid for Taiwan using the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which speeds up defense assistance.