US Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Taiwan and Indo-Pacific Bills

It is reported on June 23, US bipartisan lawmakers introduced an array of bills and resolutions aimed at expanding the Biden administration’s involvement in Asia, including strengthening ties with Pacific nations and expanding support for Taiwan.

This week, Ami Bera, the Democratic chair of the House foreign affairs Asia subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation, and Steve Chabot, Republican ranking member on the panel, jointly introduced Indo-Pacific Act.

Bera said in a news release on Tuesday, “When it comes to advancing U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific, it is time we match resources with rhetoric. For decades we have routinely underinvested in both diplomatic and aid assistance, setting the stage for Chin to expand its influence and attempt to define the rules in the region”. Chabot added, “It is deeply frustrating that year after year administration of both parties produce a budget that places the Indo-Pacific near the bottom of our national priorities.”

The Act stressed the importance to advancing American interest in the region in this century, and explicitly cited one of the goals is to “countering the malign influence of Communist China in the region.”

The new legislation comes under backdrop of intensified competition with Communist China, alarm sounded as development in April a security agreement signed between Solomon Islands and Beijing.

It also comes under the growing pressure that Biden administration need to respond to Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, with forthcoming NATO leaders’ summit in late-June to discuss bolstering defenses in Eastern Europe boards. Lawmakers are looking to ensure current administration’s continuous focus on Asia, to make sure that Communist China is Washington’s main strategic rival. In addition to Indo-Pacific Act, early this month Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Lindsey Graham jointly introduced Taiwan Policy Act. This Act proposed to authorize a package of $4.5 billion in Taiwan-related assistance through the Foreign Military Financing Framework, which includes purchase of American weaponry and joint training with American armed forces.

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