Republican senator Marco Rubio on May 3 introduced a bill designed to strengthen Taiwan’s military defense by providing it with critical technologies amid the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The bill is titled Taiwan Peace Through Strength Act. It includes much military support for Taiwan, such as Washington’s war plan for the country, Foreign Military Sales, and joint military training, among other proposals.
The legislation is considered a response to the threat of China’s attack and invasion of the island, given the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Senator Rubio said, “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not the first time an authoritarian regime invaded its neighbor, and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last.”
He added, “an invasion of Taiwan could happen within this decade. Taiwan needs our support.”
The Senator from Florida stressed that “We must do all we can to deter an attack on Taiwan, or we risk losing the Indo-Pacific region to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The bill requires the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to review Washington’s war plans to defend Taiwan. Based on the annual assessment, DOD must “develop a list of specific capabilities that Taiwan is approved to acquire.”
The legislation requires the U.S. Department of State to speed up the Foreign Military Sales program to Taiwan, prioritizing the weapons sale to the country ahead of other countries.
It also proposes to amend the Taiwan Relations Act to replace “outdated language regarding ‘arms of a defensive character’ with new language that sets an enhanced standard for arms sales to deter conflict with the PLA [People’s Liberation Army].”
The bill further recommends setting up a comprehensive joint training program to improve defense capabilities for Taiwan, among others.
Coinciding with the bill proposal, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ROC) reported on May 6 that China sent 18 aircraft to the island’s air defense zone.
In March 2021, Admiral. Philip Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, during a hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that China might invade Taiwan in “the next six years.”