U.S. Senate panel advances bill to address China – The Biden administration approved more than $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, Earlier this month, a move seen as likely to inflame already-heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. The administration formally notified Congress of the proposed sales, which included up to 60 anti-ship missiles and up to 100 air-to-air missiles.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill to bolster US security assistance to Taiwan, authorizing $6.5 billion over the next five years. According to a Democratic aide- The bill, called the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, was approved by a 17-5 vote, with Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voting against the measure.
A State Department spokesperson also reported that at the time that ‘the sales were in line with the United States’ policy on Taiwan, noting the longstanding history of the US providing defensive weapons to the island. The “swift provision” of such arms, they said, was “essential for Taiwan’s security and we will continue to work with industry to support that goal.
US congressional delegations have visited the self-governing island in recent weeks. Tension soared between China and the US following the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in early August. The visit marked the first US speaker to visit in 25 years at a time when Washington-Beijing relations have been especially tense. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez to the visits in announcing the legislation on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Democrat added that “After soliciting and incorporating input from Members of the Committee to address wide-ranging views and concerns, holding multiple hearings and briefings on this issue, as well as allowing for Committee members to travel to Taiwan, we passed a comprehensive piece of legislation to lay a new and bipartisan path forward for U.S.-Taiwan policy that maintains cross-Strait stability, all while reinforcing a status quo that is under threat from Beijing and that, without reinforcement, would inevitably and invariably collapse.”
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