US Bill To Make Taiwan 'Major Non-NATO Ally', China Warns Against 'Dangerous Policy'
WASHINGTON - A US Senate bill seeks to pave the way for a training program in order to increase armed forces interoperability between the United States and Taiwan, while significantly increasing support for the island, including billions of dollars in security assistance and making Taiwan a 'major non-NATO ally'. China has warned, however, against what they call a 'dangerous' policy overhaul.
The 'Taiwan Policy Act of 2022' also threatens severe sanctions against China for any aggression against Taiwan, while giving $4.5 billion in foreign aid to the Taiwanese military over the next four-year period.
The bill, which is sponsored by US Senator Bob Menendez, who chairs the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and US Senator Lindsey Graham would also upgrade Taiwan's status with the United States as a 'major non-NATO ally'.
Menendez said in a statement "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" and said that the bill would send a clear message that China shouldn't make the same mistake that Russia made when it invaded Ukraine.
Graham also stated, "The danger will only grow worse if we show weakness in the face of Chinese threats and aggression toward Taiwan".
In response to the Senate bill, China has warned the United States against such a 'dangerous policy' overhaul, saying that the move is "abusive" and "dangerous" and would negatively impact ties between the United States and China.
China's state media and mouthpiece, the Global Times stated "It is very concerning that an official MNNA status designation to the Taiwan island may imply the beginning of an official alliance between the US and Taiwan with more serious security commitments to follow". "If so, it means Washington takes a big step backward regarding China-US ties" the Global Times added.
Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the United States also urged Congress to "stop advancing the act" and said that it could have "resolute countermeasures", according to the South China Morning Post on Saturday.
He added that when it comes to issues related to Chinese sovereignty and "territorial integrity" China has "no room for compromise or concession" according to the SCMP.
The Global Times commented on the bill Saturday saying that it is "more about political grandstanding and posturing", possibly referring to the fact that midterm elections begin in November and such a bill might appeal to voters.
"The anti-China politicians on Capitol Hill only care about their short-term political gains, disregarding the bill's long-term damage to China-US relations" the Global Times added.
"However, political manipulations by those anti-China politicians in Washington won't end soon. We still need to keep our alert, because their manipulation may deceive some US voters and send the Taiwan authorities a wrong signal. At the same time, we should let our 'resolute countermeasures' speak for themselves in a louder way".
Senators Senator Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham are hoping to send the bill on to the Senate floor next week, according to a report by Reuters.