The US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee yesterday passed its version of the US annual defense policy bill — the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023 — which includes provisions for enhancing military ties with Taiwan.
The committee passed the draft bill in a 57-to-one vote early in the morning, following 16 hours of debate.
A draft of the bill released by US Representative Adam Smith on Monday said it would reiterate that the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances” form the cornerstone of Taiwan-US relations.
Beijing’s rising hostility toward Taipei contravenes the principle that the future of Taiwan must be resolved peacefully, it said.
Washington must maintain capabilities to “resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan,” a resolution attached to the bill said.
The US should continue a policy to “make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantities as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” it said.
The bill also called for exchanges among defense officials from the two countries, joint military training and exercises, and timely evaluations of Taiwan’s defense and acquisition strategy.
Separately, the lawmakers also supported the US Department of Defense using war games to clarify the strategy of the Indo-Pacific Command, and asked that the US secretary of defense brief the committee on the simulations and their implications before March 15 next year.
Additionally, the defense secretary was asked to brief the committee before March 1 on the state of Taiwan’s air defenses, including its capabilities, interoperability and plans for hastening its development, they said.
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