City News - Sangguniang Panlungsod
Olongapo City News

US lawmakers consider actions to increase support for Taiwan

Posted at: May-20-2022
Categority - Overseas

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Posted at: May-20-2022
Categority - Overseas

US lawmakers discussed measures on Thursday that Washington should take to help defend Taiwan against any moves by mainland China's military, including expedited weapon sales meant to arm Taipei "to the teeth".

Suggestions made at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing included US-Taiwan defence dialogues similar to what the Pentagon conducts with Japan and South Korea. The hearing was called to examine the implications of Russia's war on Ukraine on US policy in the Indo-Pacific.

"Ukraine should serve as a wake-up call to get our act together and arm Taiwan to the teeth," Representative Steven Chabot of Ohio, the committee's senior Republican, said.

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Chabot contended that "this committee could authorise security assistance to bolster Taiwan's defensive investments and get it the arms it needs".

"We could also enact specific reforms to speed up the delivery of arms to Taiwan, including ones that (Taipei) has already bought and paid for," Chabot said.

"We do not have regular sustained defence planning dialogues with Taipei, like we do with Japan and Korea and Nato. We should work with the Armed Services Committee to institute those immediately."

Production issues have set back the first batch of US weapons approved for Taiwan by President Joe Biden's administration, with the island's defence ministry saying this month that next year's expected delivery of howitzer artillery systems would be delayed until 2026.

The calls in the hearing to forgo what are often lengthy deliberations between Congress and the executive branch follow a series of visits by former and sitting American officials to the island, authorised by Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.

Several bipartisan congressional delegations have also made their way to Taiwan during the two administrations, with the most recent led by Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and four Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

These visits have infuriated Beijing, which considers Taiwan a renegade province to be eventually reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. The Chinese government has called the diplomatic activity a violation of the one-China principle, which allowed Beijing and Washington to establish official diplomatic relations more than four decades ago.

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