The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would radically alter US policy toward Taiwan and significantly escalate tensions with Beijing.
The amended version of the Taiwan Policy Act would give Taiwan $6.5 billion in military aid, give the island the benefits of being a “major non-NATO ally,” expedite arms sales to Taipei, and require sanctions in the event of Chinese aggression.
The bill was easily passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a vote of 17-5. The senators who voted against the legislation were Rand Paul (R-KY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ed Markey (D- MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
The initial version of the bill would have given Taiwan $4.5 billion in military aid through 2026, but the Senate panel added $2 billion and extended the aid until 2027. The aid will be given to Taiwan through Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments money to buy US arms.
The initial version also would have designated Taiwan as a major non-NATO ally. But the updated bill would give Taiwan the benefit of the designation without technically labeling Taiwan as an ally. The changes were made after the White House raised concerns about the legislation.
The initial bill would have allowed President Biden to create a “war reserve stockpile” of arms that would be placed in Taiwan to be used against a Chinese attack. It was amended to say that the stockpile would be placed in an unspecified location in the region but still allocates $500 million for the effort.
If the legislation makes it through Congress and is signed by President Biden, it will be a major overhaul of the US policy toward China and Taiwan, which was defined by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. Since 1979, the US hasn’t had formal diplomatic relations with Taipei, and China views any move away from that policy as a major provocation.
One of the biggest changes would be requiring sanctions if China “is knowingly engaged in a significant escalation in aggression.” The current US policy related to a Chinese attack on Taiwan is known as strategic ambiguity and means the US won’t say one way or the other if it will intervene.
Sen. Paul said that now was not the time to move toward a policy of strategic clarity. “This is not a time to radically change long-standing policy … without an appreciation of the consequences that may follow,” he said, according to Politico.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted in favor of the bill, but also recognized how it risks provoking China. “We’re doing something that’s highly provocative and bellicose,” he said.
China’s recent actions have made clear that Beijing will strongly react to US provocations over Taiwan. The legislation comes after China launched its largest-ever military exercises around the island in response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.
While done in the name of deterrence, the Taiwan Policy Act will make a conflict over Taiwan more likely. Chinese officials have said that US support for Taiwan’s “independence forces” could lead to war between the US and China.
Correction: This article originally stated that the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the bill, but that is incorrect. It was advanced by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
21 thoughts on “Senate Panel Advances Bill That Would Radically Change US Taiwan Policy”
“We’re doing something that’s highly provocative and bellicose.” …Anyone asking why? My math tells me that we need a war with China like we need a hole in the head after we started a war with Russia, which we also needed like a hole in the head. …Never mind, I just answered my own stupid question. We apparently need another hole in the head.
They’ve all drunk the neocon ideological Kool-Ade, which causes delusions of world dominion in the febrile brain of Washington/Tel Aviv.
Well that didn’t take long
Robert is fast on his feet!
Maybe he should Lie down and rest for a few minutes
Oh yes it’s so bad but voting for it anyways. What the heck is wrong “principled” Romney? our MIC funded congress knows no bounds.
Romney votes for high bellicosity, nothing is more American. That is the value we defend, because others can always be counted on to start the fights we want. Romney is smart enough to know he’s jerking our steering wheel towards a cliff, what a thrilling ride with a sudden end.
When our elected officials need to keep the economy running with war materials being produced in most of the States there are few choices to make They have always chosen.Guns over Butter If people die for Capitalism and Imperialism too.bad.For the most.part it is people of color doing the dying while our corrupt politicians Pelosi and Schumer line their pockets.
Many of the states produce parts for war machines. Therefore, any politician who attempts to affect the war materials manufacture, in the name of peace, will affect the jobs of people assembling those parts, and, will have just a little difficulty getting elected or re-elected. Pretty good plan by the MIC, don’t you think?
All part of the graft. Every member in Congress must get a little of the gravy from the MIC to take back home like “hushpuppy” treats for the voters to keep them satisfied.
Of course, during a real war that becomes a logistics nightmare.
US is now finding out what a problem that creates when trying to resupply Ukraine’s NATO weapons and ammo.
Ukraine is using up years of NATO weapons and ammo in weeks. Sometimes days.
And when China reacts, the US will deny having anything to do with why China reacted. It’s like hiring an arson, providing him with gasoline and matches, giving him directions to the location you want torched and then denying any culpability. Just like with Russia.
It worked so well with Russia. Get more wars going, all at the same time! What could go wrong? We’d never lose, right?
Led by a stinking “democrat”.
We literally did this before the Ukraine War started. Now we are trying our hardest to do the same in Taiwan and start world war III. And the sad thing is, most of the American public are so awash in propaganda and actually cheering for it before the nuclear bombs start flying. I just went to some liberal and conservative boards, people literally cheering for WWIII to happen. We are still a primitive and violent species.
IOW another $6.5 billion for the MIC – since none of those weapons will help Taiwan against China in the coming war, just like none of the weapons supplied to Ukraine will change that outcome.
So, feeding the MIC is the real goal. Taiwan is not a poor state and the USA has really nothing but business with them.
For the benefit of our MIC the governments prints more money to fund the MIC
while the sky-high inflation is devaluing our currency, our savings and our paychecks and retirement reserves.
Yes our currency value keeps going down soon our one $$$ value equals $ 0.5o. That is the hidden inflation, even if the rent does not go up our devalued income buys less. After decades of stagnating wages the pay went up by pennies a fraction of the inflations, the rest is hidden in currency devaluation.
Working middle class people pay for the shyster war profiteers. They even tax every penny a small savings account earns, less than the inflation rate. that is why the IRS must hire more people.
Sanction China?! You mean sanction USA? Because the net effect is the same. Without Chinese imports, prices will soar. Who gets hurt?!
Sure, start another war. Great idea. They have not even ended the authorization for the Iraq War. There guys only go in one direction — kill people when they feel invulnerable themselves.
“Senate Panel Advances Bill That Would Radically Change US Taiwan Policy The legislation would give Taiwan $6.5 billion in military aid through 2027”
Right, just another brick in the wall!
Capitalism is going to kill us all. If we follow the money we can see that it’s all about getting $$ spend with the military-industrial complex:
“The initial version of the bill would have given Taiwan $4.5 billion in military aid through 2026, but the Senate panel added $2 billion and extended the aid until 2027. The aid will be given to Taiwan through Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments money to buy US arms.”
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