After President Biden signed the massive $777.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Taiwan said it was ready to deepen military cooperation with the US.
With the Pentagon focused on confronting China, the NDAA includes $7.1 billion in funding to strengthen the US military presence in the Asia Pacific. The spending bill also includes provisions aimed at boosting ties with Taiwan.
When asked by Newsweek for a statement on the NDAA, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry pointed to remarks made by Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng on Wednesday.
Chiu said Taiwan “is happy to cooperate,” although he said every proposal needs to be reviewed. “Cooperation doesn’t mean accepting [every proposal] in full,” he said. “We will carry out assessments.”
Included in the NDAA is an amendment requiring the Pentagon to review the feasibility of enhancing cooperation between the US National Guard and Taiwan’s military. Chiu revealed that Taiwan is already in talks with the US on the matter but wouldn’t disclose any details.
Since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, the US has always sold weapons to Taiwan. But in recent years, the US has taken steps to increase diplomatic and military ties as Washington has grown more antagonistic towards Beijing.
The NDAA also includes amendments to review Taiwan’s weapons capabilities to see what they need. The idea of increasing military support for Taiwan is popular in Washington, and some hawks in Congress have introduced bills that would send Taipei billions in military aid each year.