Republican members of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee propose bill to include Taiwan as a member of “NATO plus” countries

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, speaks at the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act Capitol Hill reception on May 8, 2019, with then Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Kao Shuo-tai, left. (Courtesy of the Voice of America)

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 March 19 by House Foreign Affairs Committee member Scott Perry (R-Texas), is called the Taiwan PLUS Act and aims to have the U.S. treat Taiwan as a member of the NATO Plus community and enjoy the same rights as other NATO countries in terms of arms sales. The purpose of the bill is to treat Taiwan as a member of NATO Plus and to enjoy the same treatment as these 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 into 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 military deterrence against the Chinese Communist Party. He also said the United States should be tougher on the Chinese Communist Party and give Taiwan diplomatic recognition because “Taiwan is the real China.

According to the bill, which was provided to VOA by Perry’s office, the bill states that Taiwan is the 10th largest trading partner of the United States, is recognized as an independent nation by 15 countries, and is 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 self-defense capability, and 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, among others.

The bill also says that data from the 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, the same ranking 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 increase 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. The bill provides Taiwan with the same treatment as within the NATO Plus community of nations with respect to foreign military sales considerations and all other rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the U.S. Congress to Taiwan.

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 effective date of the bill, Taiwan shall be “treated as if it were a nation” for purposes of the relevant laws. “to facilitate the application and enforcement of the law.

In an email to VOA, Perry’s office added that, with respect to the sunset provision, the bill 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 of Representatives within 14 days prior to the commencement of the extension. Foreign Affairs Committee.