The United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2020, which supports arms sales to Taiwan and states that U.S. Navy warships should continue to pass through the Taiwan Strait periodically. Experts say that the U.S. Navy already does so, so this move has more meaning in the Political arena. Though Beijing has protested as usual, the main thing to observe for, is whether this protest escalates.
The U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2020, which supports arms sales to Taiwan, and recommends the continuation of its Navy vessels to regularly patrol through the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate the freedom of travel of the U.S. and its international partners wherever the International Law permits. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense expressed their appreciation.
The Ministry expresses its appreciation. Anything that helps the self-defense of the Republic of China, anything that will help to increase the stability of the region optimistically, the Ministry views it optimistically.
If U.S. warships patrol the area regularly, that would also be a promise of safety from the U.S. to Taiwan.
The Senate's version of the NDAA also suggested that Taiwan's medical ships should also participate in the U.S. Navy drills to improve preparations and response actions against disasters. Scholars say, the Taiwan Strait is considered international waters, thus, aside from U.S. warships, other country's warships, such as those of France or Canada, could also pass through. Moreover, it is already a norm that U.S. warships pass through the strait, thus this recommendation stated in the NDAA has more of a political implication than a practical one. How Beijing responds will be a key point.
The more important thing is that whether this mode of operation, and Beijing's protest, is largely deviated from the norm, and whether there's anything that's different or special that we need to be vigilant about.
Alexander Huang said that the NDAA has already required for closer cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense and Taiwan since 2016. The NDAA for 2020 still needs to pass the House of Representatives, and signed by the president to officially take effect.