TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The additional budget request submitted by the Biden administration to congress in October reflects America's strategic commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan, White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said during his confirmation hearing on Thursday (Dec. 7).
If approved, the supplementary budget would strengthen deterrence in the Indo-Pacific, providing aid for American partners in the region to bolster defense capabilities. It would also solidify the U.S.' submarine industrial base, which is a vital part of the AUKUS military agreement.
Campbell’s comment comes as the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee proposed the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which approved a budget of US$886.3 billion (NT27.85 trillion) for fiscal year 2024 and includes provisions to facilitate comprehensive training, advising, and establishing a capacity-building program for Taiwan. The bill also urges the Pentagon to train Taiwanese troops on how to make the best use of transferred defense articles and services.
Xi told Biden in a meeting last month that Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in U.S.-China ties and said peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait was a priority, Voice of America (VOA) reported. Despite this, China has ramped up military activities around Taiwan, which is preparing for the 2024 presidential election in January.
German Marshall Fund’s Indo-Pacific Program Managing Director Bonnie Glaser stressed the importance of the U.S. having a credible threat to ensure regional peace. “It is essential that Taiwan and the United States have the ability to threaten to impose a lot of pain and consequences on the People’s Republic of China if it were to use force against Taiwan,” VOA quoted her as saying.
There was also the need for “some assurances” from the U.S., China, and Taiwan simultaneously, Glaser said.