Sen. Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Fast-Track Arms Sales to Taiwan

Sen. Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Fast-Track Arms Sales to Taiwan
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, on March 29, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has introduced a bill to fast-track arms transfer and strengthen ties between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries to equip the independent democratic nation against any possible attack by Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The “Taiwan Peace Through Strength Act of 2022” (pdf) requires the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct an annual review of U.S. war plans to defend Taiwan and bans U.S. defense contractors from doing business in China.

It also prioritizes arms sales by U.S. defense contractors to Taiwan ahead of other countries, regardless of which nation put their order in first and seeks to “replace outdated language” in the Taiwan Relations Act about “arms of a defensive characteristic” to enable sales for products that would deter conflict with the Chinese regime.

The act also aims to strengthen high-level military planning and set up a comprehensive joint training program that would lead to achieving interoperability between the two country’s militaries.

Although the Chinese regime is caught up with internal concerns, namely locking down millions as it pursues its COVID Zero policy amid outbreaks, Rubio said an invasion of Taiwan “could happen within this decade” and the country needed America’s support.

“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not the first time an authoritarian regime invaded its neighbor and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last,” Rubio said in a May 3 release.

“My bill will make Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) think twice before launching a foolish invasion,” he added.

“We must do all we can to deter an attack on Taiwan, or we risk losing the Indo-Pacific region to the Chinese Communist Party.”

Taiwan's Navy Conducts Military Exercise
Soldiers stand onboard a Taiwan Navy minelayer in Keelung, Taiwan, on Jan. 7, 2022.  (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The CCP views Taiwan as a renegade province of the mainland. However, Taiwan has its own democratically elected government, constitution, and military.

The PLA’s incursions into Taiwanese territory have increased in a two-year campaign of harassment and intimidation by the CCP as it seeks to coerce Taiwanese leadership away from ties with the West and to give up its democratic government.

On March 14, Taiwan scrambled assets from its air force to warn away 13 Chinese military aircraft that flew into its air defense identification zone. In January, a large-scale incursion took place, when 39 Chinese aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

Rubio in March described the CCP as the greatest threat to America and has sought to protect American taxpayer dollars, intellectual property, research and development, and innovation efforts against theft by China.

“For decades, the members of the Chinese Communist Party hid their true ambitions: their true ambition to remake the global order, to become the world’s most powerful nation,” Rubio told Washington-based think tank Heritage Foundation on March 29. “They don’t hide it anymore.”

The Republican senator has sought to put measures in place to protect the research, innovation, ingenuity, and intellectual property of Americans—paid for by taxpayers—against theft by China.

The Taiwan Peace Through Strength Act would also authorize $2 billion per year in arms sales for Taiwan.

From The Epoch Times

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