Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, led 36 Republican colleagues in introducing the House version of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently passed its version of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022. On Sept. 28, Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, led 36 Republican colleagues in introducing the House version with the aim of strengthening Taiwan's defensive capabilities and modernizing U.S. policy towards Taiwan.
Michael McCaul, US Congressman (R): “The better Ukraine does against Russia, the less likely it is that Xi will invade Taiwan, so it's all sort of tied together, I'm in the middle of a tabletop exercise, when I go back up there to see what our plans are to respond to an invasion.”
Compared to the Senate version, the House version includes the new phrase "strategic clarity" and retains "renames TECRO as Taiwan Representative Office" and "elevates top U.S. diplomat in Taiwan with Senate confirmation." It also authorizes US$6.5 billion in foreign military financing over five fiscal years.
Joanne Ou, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to maintain close contact with the U.S. Congress and U.S. executive branch. We look forward to continuing to win over friends in the U.S. Congress during this session and seeing legislative actions that will deepen the partnership of friendship between Taiwan and the U.S.”
Both versions mention strengthening military assistance for Taiwan. Scholars say this means that the U.S. wants Taiwan to first strengthen its self-defense capabilities, as otherwise it will be difficult to persuade Americans to support Taiwan.
Yen Chen-sheng, Adjunct Researcher, Inst. of Int'l Relations, NCCU: “It's saying your own government needs to help with weapon supply chains and resolve some issues. In addition, it's saying that Taiwan needs to defend itself since so much free stuff has been given to Taiwan.”
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer during a visit to the largest overseas U.S. Navy installation at Yokosuka. She used the opportunity to send a message to China.
Kamala Harris, US Vice President: “We will continue to oppose any unilateral change to the status quo. And we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, consistent with our long-standing policy.”
Harris denounced China for what she called "disturbing" actions in the Pacific and pledged that the U.S. will continue deepening "unofficial ties" with Taiwan.