U.S. senators seek to strengthen Taiwan's defenses amid heightened tensions in China, the political news outlet Politico reported. The new annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which started discussions this week, authorizes a sharp increase in the total amount of military aid to Taiwan over the next five years. To 10 billion US dollars (about 320 billion Taiwan dollars), more than half of the previous proposal of the Senate Military Committee.

(Reuters)

[Compiled by Yang Fuyi/Taipei Report] Political news media "Politico (Politicians)" reported on the 12th that US senators are seeking to strengthen Taiwan's defense amid rising tensions in China, and this week started discussions on the new annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) It has included many provisions aimed at expanding cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, authorizing the total amount of military aid to Taiwan to be greatly increased to US$10 billion (about NT$320 billion) in the next five years, which is more than US$6.5 billion in the previous proposal passed by the Senate Military Commission in September. surged by more than half.

This reflects that at a time when China deliberately used military provocations to raise tensions across the Taiwan Strait and attempt to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, the US Congress urged the Biden administration to take a tougher stance on China, and the support of congressmen from both the Democratic and Republican parties followed suit. greatly enhanced.

The NDAA is an annual bill that the U.S. Congress must pass every year and will set policy for the Pentagon.

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The report pointed out that the revised version of the NDAA proposed by the US Senate Democratic Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (Jack Reed) on the 11th consolidated many of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (Bob Menendez), who won bipartisan support in September. Contents of the "Taiwan Policy Act" passed by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Taiwan Policy Act is one of 75 amendments to be consolidated into the Senate's version of the NDAA this week, which is scheduled to continue after the U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 8.

This Senate version of the NDAA's aid to the U.S. State Department's military financing to Taiwan was revised up to $10 billion, with $2 billion per year allocated through fiscal year 2027; Menendez and the Republican Foreign Affairs Committee chief senator previously Jim Risch's proposal for the same period of military aid to Taiwan amounted to 6.5 billion US dollars.

The Biden administration notified the U.S. Congress in September that it would sell Taiwan arms worth $1.1 billion, including anti-ship and air-to-air weapons.

The report said that if the Senate version of the NDAA is passed, the funds for military aid to Taiwan will be calculated separately, and the amount of arms sales in September will not be included.

According to reports, Senator Ritchie said in a statement that "we must prepare for future crises in advance and give (Chinese President) Xi Jinping reason to think twice about whether to invade or coerce Taiwan"; this is an important reason for promoting foreign military financing. Before any possible conflict, expand Taiwan's military training."

The legislation did not outline specific weapons systems that might be purchased, but it required a joint report by the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon on Taiwan's move toward a military position that could deter China, the report said; this includes the purchase and deployment of specific weapons, Examples include long-range precision fires, integrated air and missile defense systems, coastal defense and surveillance capabilities.

The report said that some of the diplomatic provisions of the "Taiwan Policy Act" passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September may be seen as an excuse that Beijing may use to accuse the United States of provocation, and were excluded from the Senate version of the NDAA, including allowing the United States Measures by officials to display symbols of Taiwan's sovereignty, such as the Taiwanese flag or military insignia.