The U.S. continues to provoke tensions in the Taiwan Strait after a Senate panel voted in favor of providing Taiwan with $6.5 billion in weapons funding that will help the island control its “security and right of self-determination.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praised the passage of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which passed in a 17-5 vote. 

“The bill we passed today makes it clear that the United States does not seek war or increased tensions with Beijing,” he said in a statement. “Quite the opposite.”

He said the U.S. is “strategically downgrading the existential threats facing Taiwan, raising the cost of taking the island by force so that it becomes too high and unattainable risk.”

Beijing has long declared that Taiwan is part of its territory under its “One China Principle,” and it is the mainland’s territory under its Constitution. The U.S. has historically pursued a policy toward the matter as one of “strategic ambiguity,” which means it will aid Taiwan’s defenses but will not promise to come to the island’s defenses in the event of an attack.

Beijing said Taiwan belongs to mainland China and no outside force will be able to stop it if it takes action against Taiwan.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and will “unify” the renegade island—separated by the Taiwan Strait—with force if needed. Taiwan, which is home to about 24 million, has been governed independently since 1949.

Taiwan Policy Act of 2022

The bill will grant Taiwan a $2 billion line of credit to help Taipei purchase weapons. Atalayar noted that the bill is the first time the U.S. will fund Taiwanese armaments. Under the bill, the U.S. will also be required to sanction state-owned banks in China if it is determined that Beijing has engaged in “significant escalation in aggression” against Taiwan, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The bill calls on the U.S. to train Taiwanese forces and also would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to increase annual war reserves stockpile additions from $200 million to $500 million for the purposes of supporting Taiwan’s defense.

Mao Ning, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, “If the bill continues to be deliberated, pushed through or even signed into law, it will greatly shake the political foundation of Sino-US relations and cause extremely serious consequences for Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

TREND FORECAST: The Trends Journal has been reporting extensively on the U.S.’s antagonistic foreign policy when it comes to supporting Taiwan, and its provocations directed at China with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the island igniting new pressures. (See “PELOSI PUSHES WAR, U.S. MEDIA PROMOTES IT” 9 Aug 2022, “TAIWAN VS. CHINA: UKRAINE WAR SET THE STAGE” 5 Apr 2022 and “BIDEN SAYS U.S. WILL FIGHT CHINA IF IT INVADES TAIWAN, BUT WHITE HOUSE FLACKS QUICKLY BACKTRACK” 24 May 2022.)

After backtracking in May, this past Sunday President Biden said the U.S. would go to war against China if they attacked Taiwan: In a “60 Minutes” interview, Biden was asked by CBS host Scott Pelley if U.S. forces would defend Taiwan: “Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said. 

Pelley then asked, “So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?”

The president replied, “Yes.”

TRENDPOST: Washington’s policy vis-à-vis Taiwan is opaque. Washington does not have diplomatic ties with China in Taipei. 

The Brookings Institute wrote that Washington has an embassy in Beijing while conducting its ties with Taiwan through “a nominally private organization, the American Institute in Taiwan. This makes Taiwan a rare case where Washington has a security partnership with an entity with which it does not have diplomatic relations.”

We’ve noted that China has recently spoken out against a NATO-type Alliance in the Pacific. Japan announced recently that it might appoint a special ambassador to NATO.

“As the international situation is going through an unstable period, Japan, a country with a militarist history, getting increasingly close with the world’s most powerful military and political organization today is sure to arouse close attention and vigilance in the international community,” according to China Military Online.

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