Romney, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Bolster Deterrence in Taiwan Strait

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID) and Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) in introducing the Taiwan Deterrence Act, legislation to bolster deterrence across the Taiwan Strait and strengthen Taiwan’s ability to defend against Chinese aggression and coercion.

“Taiwan is an important friend of the United States, and it plays a significant role in promoting democracy and countering China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific,” said Senator Romney. “This legislation would ensure that the United States continues to support Taiwan in its effort to counter Chinese aggression and coercion by bolstering our support of Taiwan’s defense capabilities.”

“The defense of Taiwan is critical to the future peace and security of the entire Indo-Pacific region,” said Ranking Member Risch. “This legislation authorizes $2 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing for Taiwan, but it is not a blank check. This funding is contingent on Taiwan’s commitment to further advance initiatives championed by President Tsai to build a credible defense. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, the executive branch, and Taiwan on our shared vital interests in the Indo-Pacific.”

“China’s increasing efforts to militarily overwhelm Taiwan is a threat to international diplomacy and regional security,” said Senator Crapo. “It is imperative to get asymmetric capabilities, training and readiness resources to Taiwan quickly so it can protect itself from China’s encroaching aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“As former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I prioritized strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance to advance the vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. A free and democratic Taiwan is critical to realizing that vision, and the United States should work with our allies and partners to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s malign behavior and aggressive threats against Taiwan. This legislation is imperative to maintaining the United States’ posture toward Communist China by supporting our allies in the region and helping them build up and maintain their defenses,” said Senator Hagerty.

“We all bear witness as China continues to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region, and as Americans we must honor our commitments to defend our allies and diplomatic partners like Taiwan,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation will make sure the U.S. is ready and able to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event China further encroaches on their autonomy.”

“As Beijing continues to pose a direct threat to our interests in the Indo-Pacific, it’s important Taiwan has the necessary tools to defend itself,” said Senator Rubio. “I’m proud to join Senator Risch and colleagues in introducing this bill, which takes the long overdue step to bolster Taiwan’s defense by providing much-needed assistance with military financing.”

This legislation:

  • Authorizes $2 billion a year for Taiwan in Foreign Military Financing, subject to Taiwan meeting certain conditions;
  • Amends the Arms Export Control Act to better facilitate arms transfers to Taiwan; and
  • Requires an annual assessment on Taiwan’s efforts to advance a credible defense strategy vis-à-vis China.

Full text of the Taiwan Deterrence Act can be found here.