Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) introduced the Taiwan Security Act (TSA), S. 1620, on July 24, 2017, legislation that will enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and bolster Taiwan's participation in the international community.
"For too long, China's escalating pressure on Taiwan has faced no serious response from the United States. This legislation would send an overdue message to China to halt its aggressive behavior. Strong security, economic, and cultural ties with Taipei have always advanced U.S. interests in Asia, and created conditions for Taiwan's free-market democracy to flourish. Enhancing those ties now will ensure that China's petulant actions will not disturb the peace across the Taiwan Strait," said Cotton.
"This legislation takes a significant step forward to demonstrate that the United States will take all necessary steps to support our ally and friend, Taiwan," said Gardner. "The Taiwan Security Act ensures our government will enhance mutually-beneficial security, diplomatic, and economic ties with Taipei, which will promote Taiwan's international standing and help ensure peace and stability in the region."
The Taiwan Security Act will enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship in the following ways:
- Mandates senior defense and diplomatic exchanges between the United States and Taiwan at the flag officer and assistant secretary level or above.
- Reestablishes an annual strategic dialogue between the United States and Taiwan on arms sales in order to ensure the regular transfer of defense articles.
- Directs the U.S. secretary of defense to invite Taiwanese forces to participate in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise and a 2018 edition of the Red Flag air-to-air combat exercise.
- Requires U.S Navy port visits to Taiwan and vice versa.
- Expresses Congressional support for Taiwan's plan to spend 3% of GDP on defense and its ongoing efforts to suspend all economic ties with North Korea.
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