The head of foreign relations said Bob Menendez (DN.J.), who introduced the legislation along with the senator. Lindsey Graham (Republika Srpska).
“If we don’t increase our support for Taiwan, there will be a military offensive” against Taipei, the senator added. Jeff Merkley (Inactive D).
Indeed, the prospect of bolstering Taiwan’s defenses and strengthening U.S. relations with the island has united dovish Democrats and hard-line Republicans in recent times, but especially over the past few years. Even some Democrats did Adopt an aggressive viewpoint That the United States should abandon its longstanding policy of “strategic ambiguity” and instead declare that Washington would defend Taipei militarily from invasion, an approach sometimes referred to as “strategic clarity.”
Senators sought clarification during Wednesday’s Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the bill does not change US policy. Instead, the committee’s senior Republican senator said. Jim Rich From Idaho, the legislation “gives [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping reasons to think twice before invading Taiwan.”
Among the provisions in the sprawling legislation is the authorization of $4.5 billion for direct military assistance. The bill also enhances Taiwan’s sovereignty when it comes to its membership in international organizations in a way that, according to its proponents, does not overturn the so-called one-China policy – diplomatic recognition of Beijing’s view that Taiwan is part of China.
The way the bill will pass remains unclear. Lawmakers can attach parts of it to the annual defense policy bill, which should acquit both houses before the end of the year. And while the legislation included many of the amendments proposed by the White House, it is not certain that President Joe Biden would sign them if they made it to his office as a separate measure.
It attracted strong bipartisan opposition. Senator. rand bull (Republic of Kentucky) criticized the proposal as a step toward strategic clarity and a possible reversal of the One China policy.
“This is not the time for a drastic change of long-term policy…without an appreciation of the consequences that might follow,” Paul said.
Senator. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who also voted “no,” said he was concerned that the “tokens of sovereignty” the United States would grant to Taiwan made him wonder “whether we’re getting anything out of these provocative rulings” that might “irritate the Chinese.”
Senator. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) agreed with that sentiment, though he ended up supporting the legislation amid acknowledgments that the measure in its entirety would likely never become law.
“We are doing something very provocative and belligerent,” Romney said, noting that the legislation would prompt China to move more quickly to invade Taiwan knowing that the United States is about to significantly increase its military support.
Earlier this week, White House spokesman John Kirby declined to take a stand but called it “going deeper.” [of] Our participation and support for Taiwan in this administration.” This includes a recent request for congressional approval of a file $1.1 billion arms sales to Taiwanwhich was first reported by Politico.
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