The U.S. Congress is set to vote on a major military policy bill, including authorization of up to $10 billion in security aid and a swift transfer of military equipment to Taiwan.
The US Congress will vote on the bill as China steps up pressure on democratic Taiwan.
The revised draft of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) did not include some controversial provisions lawmakers passed earlier this year, including a proposal to impose sanctions or designate Taiwan as a major non-NATO ally if China significantly escalates its provocations.
China considers Taiwan as its territory and has never given up the means to bring the island back under its control by force.
China reacted angrily to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s approval of broader Taiwan legislation in September this year, even as the Biden administration fears that tensions with China will escalate over the bill.
The Senate and House Armed Services Committees introduced the NDAA bill late on December 6. A military policy bill that would use $858 billion is expected to be signed into law this month after Congress passed it.
Included in the NDAA is the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, which, if approved by the US Secretary of State, includes provisions for $2 billion a year in military aid to Taiwan from 2023 to 2027. The U.S. NDAA, which has been enacted annually since 1961, covers everything from military pay raises and how many aircraft to buy to strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats. The bill came after months of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.