Tag Archive: U.S. Senate

Taiwan in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2018

June 28, 2017

On this date, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) announced details of the committee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. During the markup, 277 amendments — offered by both Republican and Democratic members — were considered and adopted. The committee voted unanimously to report the bill.

In a summary document provided following the markup, the SASC stated that the bill:

Reestablishes regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung or any other suitable ports in Taiwan and permits U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan; directs the Department to implement a program of technical assistance to support Taiwanese efforts to develop indigenous undersea warfare capabilities, including vehicles and sea mines; and expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should strengthen and enhance its long-standing partnership and strategic cooperation with Taiwan.

This post will continue to track the Taiwan-related language in the 2018 NDAA, as circumstances warrant.

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U.S. Senators Urge President Trump to Support Taiwan’s Self Defense Capabilities

In a June 23, 2017 letter to President Donald Trump, Senators Benjamin Cardin, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Edward Markey, John McCain, Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, and Ron Wyden urge President Trump to adopt a policy of regular, robust, and consistent support for Taiwan’s self-defense efforts in the face of ongoing military aggression by China and the growing cross-Strait military imbalance.

The letter enumerated three areas that require attention from the White House. The release of pending Taiwan arms sales programs currently awaiting Congressional notification; ending the practice of bundling Taiwan arms sales, instead establishing a regular and routine process whereby notifications would be sent to Congress when ready; and quickly and robustly addressing Taiwan’s significant and legitimate future requirements for new defense capabilities.

The Senators noted that the U.S. should not allow concerns about China to take precedence over support for Taiwan. They also commented that “China has intensified its economic coercion and military intimidation tactics, thereby stoking cross-Strait tensions and threatening peace and security in the Taiwan Strait. Given these circumstances, our support for Taiwan is more important than ever.”

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, President of the US-Taiwan Business Council, said “This letter is a welcome and positive development. The recent cross-Strait dynamics have been increasingly unstable due to coercive Chinese behavior and waning U.S. support. U.S. policy toward Taiwan requires sustained, focused, and determined engagement on Taiwan’s military modernization. The Council is pleased to see the Senate maintain its ongoing leadership on matters impacting U.S. relations with Taiwan, a core U.S. friend and ally in Northeast Asia. Such U.S. support for Taiwan serves to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is a core strategic interest of the United States.

A copy of the letter is attached, and can also be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.us-taiwan.org.

U.S. Senators Urge President Trump to Support Taiwan’s Self Defense Capabilities (PDF)

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