Cornyn, Duckworth Introduce Bill to Boost U.S.-Taiwanese Defense Cooperation
U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and I recently released the following statements after introducing the Taiwan Partnership Act, which would establish a partnership between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwanese defense forces to ensure a well-integrated defense force capable of fast deployment during a crisis:
"Taiwan is a critical ally in a region facing growing destabilization and competition for power", I said. "This legislation would help ensure the National Guard is ready to act in support of Taiwan should its autonomy be threatened."
“Taiwan is an important strategic partner for the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region,” Sen. Duckworth said. “I’m introducing this bipartisan bill with Senator Cornyn to evaluate the feasibility of enhanced cooperation between our two peoples on important issues like emergency response, cyber defense, education, cultural exchange and advisor programs. Our National Guard units do great work in our communities every day, and they’re ideally suited to help build partner capacity across this range of skill sets in Taiwan.”
The Taiwan Partnership Act was cosponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), James Lankford (R-OK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rick Scott (R-FL) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). Companion legislation was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives today led by Reps. Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Lisa McClain (MI-10), and Stephanie Murphy (FL-07).
The Taiwan Partnership Act would establish the sense of Congress that the United States should continue to support the development of capable, ready, and modern defense forces for Taiwan to maintain its self-defense by:
- Developing a partnership program between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan;
- Increasing exchanges between senior defense officials and general officers of the U.S. and Taiwan to improve interoperability, improve Taiwan’s reserve forces, and expand humanitarian and disaster relief cooperation;
- Expanding Taiwan’s capability to conduct security activities, including traditional combatant commands, cooperation with the National Guard, and multilateral activities;
- And requiring an annual report by the Secretary of Defense on the cooperation between the National Guard and Taiwan.