TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the "Taiwan Policy Act" with a 17-5 vote on Sept. 14 (Wed.), committing to provide Taiwan with more military support in the future.
However, many of the original proposals with symbolic gestures were either revised, became non-binding, or were removed. Renaming Taiwan's de facto U.S. embassy to the "Taiwan Representative Office" was initially mentioned in the policy. Now, it's merely a suggestion.
Another section that required the consent of the Senate for the appointment of the director of the American Institute in Taiwan was removed entirely. Designating Taiwan as a "major non-NATO ally" was also changed to merely "treating" the island as a major non-NATO ally.
Without the designation, the expedition of arms sales to Taiwan would not be like those to Australia, Japan, and other major allies. Still, the updated bill plans to allocate US＄6.5 billion in security assistance for Taiwan from 2023-2027.
Taiwan Representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim explained that the U.S. is placing greater emphasis on Taiwan's security now. "It's not like other issues are unimportant, but they will adjust the overall priority when focusing on security issues,” she said.
The Taiwan Policy Act 2022 will still need the final approval of the Senate and House of Representatives. To become law, it must also be signed by U.S. President Joe Biden before the conclusion of the 117th Congress on Jan. 3, 2023.