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Menendez, Graham Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Overhaul U.S.-Taiwan Policy

WASHINGTONU.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced they have introduced the bipartisan Taiwan Policy Act of 2022. The new legislation, which comes in the wake of last week’s threats by Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe’s that China will “not hesitate to start a war” and “smash to smithereens” Taiwan, represents the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. policy towards Taiwan since the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. The bipartisan proposal expands U.S. efforts to promote the security of Taiwan, ensures regional stability, and deters further People’s Republic of China (PRC) aggression against Taiwan. The legislation also imposes steep costs on the PRC for hostile action against Taiwan by setting up a broad economic sanctions regime.

Specifically, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 creates a new initiative to bolster Taiwan’s defense capabilities, providing almost $4.5 billion in security assistance over the next four years.  The bill also bolsters support for Taiwan’s democratic government; provides additional support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and in multilateral trade architecture; takes concrete steps to counter PRC’s aggressive coercion and influence campaigns; creates a Taiwan Fellowship Program; and designates Taiwan as a Major Non-NATO Ally. Under U.S. law, a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status designation is a powerful symbol that provides our closest global partners with additional benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation. 

“As Beijing continues to seek to coerce and isolate Taiwan there should be no doubt or ambiguity about the depth and strength of our determination to stand with the people of Taiwan and their democracy,” said Chairman Menendez. “The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 represents a seminal statement of the United States’ absolute commitment to stand with Taiwan and all those who share our interests and our values in the Indo-Pacific in the face of Beijing’s military, economic, and diplomatic threats and bullying. The United States and our partners have a critical window of opportunity to reinvigorate our diplomatic strategy to assure cross-Strait stability and security and to work with Taipei to modernize their military; embed them in the region’s economic architecture; combat Beijing’s political influence and misinformation campaigns; and develop deeper ties between our two peoples. I thank Senator Graham for working with me on this landmark legislation to send a clear message to Beijing not to make the same mistakes with Taiwan that Vladimir Putin has made in Ukraine.”

“I’m very pleased to be working with Senator Menendez to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.  Our bill is the largest expansion of the military and economic relationship between our two countries in decades,” said Senator Graham. “When it comes to Taiwan, our response should be that we are for democracy and against communist aggression. We live in dangerous times. China is sizing up America and our commitment to Taiwan.  The danger will only grow worse if we show weakness in the face of Chinese threats and aggression toward Taiwan.  I’m hopeful we will receive large bipartisan support for our legislation and that the Biden Administration will sign on in support.”

Today’s introduction follows an April 2022 Congressional Delegation led by Senators Menendez and Graham to Australia, Taiwan and Japan, which included meetings with the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen, National Security Council Secretary-General Welling Koo, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu,  and Defense Minister Kuo-Cheng Chiu.   In December of last year, Chairman Menendez also convened a full Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to explore the future of U.S. policy on Taiwan, where the Committee received testimony from Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs the Honorable Daniel Kritenbrink and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs the Honorable Ely Ratner.

A copy of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 can be found HERE. Click HERE for a section-by-section summary of the legislation. 

The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 

TITLE I: United States Policy Toward Taiwan

  • This title reaffirms the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances; establishes objectives to support the security of Taiwan and its democratic, economic, and military institutions; and creates new mechanisms to deter PRC aggression towards Taiwan. This title directs the federal government to engage with the democratic government of Taiwan as the legitimate representative of the people of Taiwan, prohibits restrictions on federal government official interaction with their counterparts in the Government of Taiwan, directs the Secretary of State to negotiate the renaming of the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” to the “Taiwan Representative Office” and requires Senate confirmation for the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan and bestows the title “Representative” for such office. 


TITLE II: Implementation of an Enhanced Defense Partnership Between the United States and Taiwan

  • This title amends Section 2(b)(5) of the TRA by expanding the provision of arms to Taiwan from being in a “defensive manner” to “arms conducive to deterring acts of aggression by the People’s Liberation Army”. This title also authorizes the federal government to strengthen security cooperation with Taiwan and otherwise deter the PLA aggression against Taiwan, regardless of formal diplomatic status, and affirms that nothing in the Act may be construed to constitute an obstacle to any otherwise lawful action of the President or U.S. Government Agency pertaining to U.S. interests in Taiwan. This title establishes the Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative, which authorizes $4.5 billion over four years in Foreign Military Financing, and prioritizes Taiwan’s requests for assistance. The federal government is directed to fortify, grow, and report on Taiwan’s self-defense and resilience capabilities by regularly assessing, planning for, and deterring aggression by the People’s Liberation Army and creating a comprehensive training program to improve Taiwan’s defense. Finally, this title increases annual war reserves stockpile additions from $200 million to $500 million for the purposes of supporting Taiwan’s defense, and bolsters U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s security by designating it as a major non-NATO ally.

TITLE III: Countering People’s Republic of China’s Aggression and Influence Campaigns

  • This title directs the State Department to develop and implement strategic guidance and capacity building measures for Taiwan’s private and public sector to respond to disinformation, cyberattacks, and propaganda by China, and establishes a coordinated partnership through the American Institute in Taiwan’s Global Cooperation and Training Framework with like-minded governments to share data and best practices with Taiwan to address power operations supported by the Government of China. Further, this title directs the Secretary of State to submit a strategy for responding to the People’s Republic of China’s increased economic coercion against countries who increase their ties or support for Taiwan.

TITLE IV: Inclusion of Taiwan in International Organizations

  • This title establishes U.S. policy to promote inclusion and participation of Taiwan in international organizations, and directs the Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations and other relevant representatives to leverage their voice and vote to promote Taiwan’s inclusion and meaningful participation in international organizations. Supports Taiwan’s participation in the Inter-American Development Bank to diversify the institution’s donor base and facilitate Taiwan’s continued contribution to the development of Latin American and Caribbean economies, and authorizes the Secretary of State to endorse and pursue non-borrowing Inter-American Development Bank membership for Taiwan. Finally, this title amends subsection (a) of section 2 of the TAIPEI Act to address U.N. Resolution 2758’s lack of position on Taiwan’s representation and sovereignty, and includes the United States’ opposition to any initiative that would change Taiwan’s status without consent.

TITLE V: Enhanced Development and Economic Cooperation Between the United States and Taiwan

  • This title presents findings on the importance of economic partnership, including the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, Taiwan’s contribution to American security and prosperity including diversification of supply chain security, employment growth, and a free and open economy in the Indo-Pacific. Also states that it is the Sense of Congress that the United States should finalize the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Taiwan, incorporate Taiwan into the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and establish Custom’s and Border Patrol pre-clearance facilities in Taiwan.

TITLE VI: Supporting United States Educational and Exchange Programs with Taiwan

  • The title is the Taiwan Fellowship Act, which establishes a fellowship exchange program for U.S. federal government employees in all three branches of government to learn, live, and work in Taiwan for a length of up to two years. Upon successful conclusion of the program, fellows must fulfill a service requirement in their sponsoring branch of government where they will be equipped to advance U.S. values and interests in the Indo-Pacific region, with special emphasis on strengthening our strategic partnership with Taiwan.

TITLE VII: Miscellaneous Provisions

  • The bill establishes policy on supporting Taiwan’s position in bilateral and multilateral dialogues, advances the Taiwan Travel Act, and prohibits the undermining of U.S. policy in Taiwan by encouraging a code of conduct for engaging with the PRC.

TITLE VIII: Sanctions Measures for Cross-Strait Stability

  • The bill creates a robust sanctions regime to deter individuals and entities in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC), who whether themselves or through proxies, escalate hostilities in or against Taiwan including by: undermining, overthrowing, or dismantling the Government of Taiwan and interfering with Taiwan’s territorial integrity.

TITLE IX: Rule of Construction

  • Reaffirms that nothing in this Act shall be construed as entailing restoration of diplomatic relations with Taiwan or altering the United States Government’s position on Taiwan’s international status.