U.S. senators propose bill to counter Chinese threat against Taiwan

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Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Two United States senators introduced a bill Thursday that Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) described as a “flagship” proposal aimed at countering China’s threats against Taiwan and elevating the relationship between Taipei and Washington.

The bill, dubbed the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2022,” was co-sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Lindsey Graham, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

In a statement issued Friday, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) described the bill as a “flagship” proposal because it includes provisions that seek to strengthen Taiwan’s cooperation with the U.S. on security and trade issues, elevate the Taiwan-U.S. relationship, and counter threats from China.

According to a Reuters report, the bill calls for severe sanctions against Chinese officials for a “significant escalation in hostile action in or against Taiwan” and would “prioritize and expedite” U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

The bill also designates Taiwan as a “major non-NATO ally” and calls for training between Taiwan’s armed forces and its American counterpart to facilitate bilateral interoperability, the report said.

“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” at a time when Beijing continues its campaigns to coerce and isolate Taiwan, Menendez was quoted as saying in a statement.

Meanwhile, MOFA thanked the senators for introducing the bill, and Ou said MOFA would closely monitor its progress.

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