U.S. Congressman proposes bill to include Taiwan as a member of NATO Plus

Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry has introduced a bill to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation by requiring the U.S. administration to treat Taiwan as a community member of a “NATO Plus” nation.

The bill introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee member Scott Perry (R-PA) last Friday (March 19), entitled the Taiwan PLUS Act, aims to have the United States treat Taiwan as a member of the “NATO Plus” community. The purpose of the bill is to treat Taiwan as a member of the “NATO Plus” and enjoy the same treatment as other countries in terms of arms sales. The current “NATO Plus” includes Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel and New Zealand. Previously, some members of Congress also advocated the inclusion of India as a member of NATO Plus and the expansion of NATO Plus 5 to NATO Plus 6.

Perry said at a hearing of the Asia-Pacific subcommittee that morning that he would introduce the bill, stressing that it was intended to improve the ability to deter China militarily. He also said the U.S. should be tougher on China and give Taiwan diplomatic recognition because “Taiwan is the real China.”

According to the contents of the bill provided to VOA by Perry’s office, the bill says that Taiwan is the 10th largest trading partner of the United States, is recognized as an independent nation by 15 countries, and is also currently considered a major non-NATO ally by the United States under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003, and that the Taiwan Relations Act indicates that the United States will provide Taiwan with an appropriate amount of defensive weapons and services so that Taiwan can maintain an adequate Under this norm, the U.S. Congress has approved a variety of defensive weapons over 40 years, including F-16 C/Ds since 2017, the HIMARS high-mobility rocket system, the Harpoon ( Harpoon) coastal defense system, etc.

The bill also says that data from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency show that Taiwan is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military sales in 2020, and that data from 1950 to 2020 also show that Taiwan is the third largest recipient of U.S. foreign military sales, ranking the same as Japan.

In addition, the bill says, relevant provisions, including the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, require the United States to provide Taiwan with adequate defense capabilities, and in the 2019 report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, it even recommends that the U.S. Congress raise the treatment of arms sales to Taiwan to the same level as U.S. allies and that it repeal any requirement for prior notification to Congress requirements. Congress believes that enhanced support for U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation is critical to U.S. national security.

According to Congress, ways to support such cooperation “include through the designation of Taiwan as a member of the community of nations commonly known as NATO Plus, which currently includes Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel and New Zealand, in connection with U.S. congressional consideration of Taiwan’s foreign military sales, as well as all other rights, privileges, and obligations. consideration, and all other rights, privileges, and responsibilities of Taiwan and those countries in the community.”

The bill thus provides that Taiwan “shall be designated as a member of the ‘NATO Plus’ community of nations” and that for a period of five years after the bill takes effect, Taiwan shall be “treated as if it were a nation” for purposes of the relevant provisions of law. “to facilitate the application and enforcement of the law.

In an email to VOA, Perry’s office added that the bill’s sunset provision provides that the Secretary of State is authorized to extend the bill indefinitely, and that the Secretary of State may extend the bill for five years at a Time after determining that the continued implementation of the bill is in the national security interests of the United States, provided that this decision is reported in writing to the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees within 14 days prior to the commencement of the extension. .