The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year of 2022 with 316 votes in favor and 113 votes against.
The content of the bill includes the U.S. Congress’s recommending the Department of Defense to invite Taiwan to participate in the 2022 Pacific Rim Military Exercise (PIMPAC), strengthening cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan military, and assisting the island nation strengthen its self-defense capabilities.
In the act, Articles 1243, 1247, and 1248 are directly related to Taiwan.
According to the act, the U.S. Congress supports Taiwan’s strengthening of its self-defense capabilities. It likewise condemns communist China’s threats against the self-governing democracy. This is very different from the peaceful resolution of Taiwan’s future stated in previous years.
Article 1243 states that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should submit a report on the feasibility of enhanced cooperation between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan to Congress before Feb. 15 next year at the latest. The content must describe the cooperation between the National Guard and Taiwan over the past 10 years, including mutual visits, exercises, training, and equipment. The report should also describe the feasibility of enhanced cooperation between the United States and Taiwan on disaster response, cyber defense and communications security, military-medical cooperation, cultural exchanges, and Chinese language education, and military consultants to help Taiwan train reserve forces.
Article 1247 reiterates “the Six Assurances provided by the United States to Taiwan in July 1982 are the foundation for United States-Taiwan relations.” It points out “the increasingly coercive and aggressive behavior of the People’s Republic of China toward Taiwan is contrary to the expectation of the peaceful resolution of the future of Taiwan.”
It also emphasizes that the United States should ensure that Taiwan maintains sufficient self-defense capabilities, has a modern national defense force, and supports Taiwan’s anti-ship, anti-coast defense, air defense, and underwater combat capabilities through arms sales and joint military exercises.
Article 1248 states that the United States should invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in the U.S.-led 2022 Rim of the Pacific military exercise which is the world’s largest international maritime military exercise. It is held every two years.
According to CNN, the conservative Freedom Caucus opposed the legislation, claiming that after the disastrous U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan, it would be another “blank check” by the Biden administration.