Reps. Jackson, Wenstrup, and Crow Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Interoperability with Taiwan

Last week Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Jason Crow (D-CO) and I introduced a bill expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should improve interoperability with Taiwan and counter Chinese aggression. This legislation clarifies that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances do not prohibit deepening interoperability with Taiwan in defense capabilities, specifically in maritime and air domain awareness and integrated air and missile defense systems. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

The Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are cornerstones of relations between the United States and Taiwan. The Indo-Pacific is the Department of Defense’s priority theater, and Taiwan is one of the most important partners for the United States in the region. This legislation reinforces the United States’ commitment to preserving peace, security, and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

I said: “China’s military aggression and coercion towards Taiwan is a threat to U.S. international and regional security interests in the Indo-Pacific. As cross-strait tensions between China and Taiwan worsen, the United States must deter Chinese aggression by providing Taiwan with the appropriate support and defense capabilities. This legislation is an important step to demonstrate the willingness of the United States to support our allies in the region and help them build and maintain their own security. The message to China from Congress has to be clear, there will be consequences for Beijing if they threaten Taiwan’s independence.”

Wenstrup said: “The Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific region is a threat not just to Taiwan or regional stability, but also to the United States and democracies around the world. Taiwan is a critical strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific, and it serves us well to strengthen our economic cooperation and defense capabilities with them. It is equally important for the United States to be clear in our commitment to our allies. I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan effort to make clear that U.S. efforts to strengthen Taiwan’s asymmetric defense capabilities, bolster deterrence, and deepen interoperability are consistent with long-standing U.S. policy governed by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.”

Crow said: “The US must reaffirm our support for democracy around the world and that includes our friends in Taiwan. We must not allow the Chinese Communist Party to undermine democracy and peace, security, and stability in the region.”

I am a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Link to the full bill text can be found here.


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