US Senate Taiwan Bill

Wednesday, a U.S. Senate committee passed a bill that would give Taiwan a lot more military support from the U.S., including billions of dollars more in security help.

This comes as China increases the amount of military pressure it is putting on the island, which is democratically run.

The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 was supported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 17 to 5. 

This was done even though the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden was worried about the bill and Beijing was angry about the measure.

Strong support from both Republicans and Biden's fellow Democrats for changing U.S. policy toward Taiwan, like treating it as a major non-NATO ally, was clear from the strong bipartisan vote.

Sponsors of the bill said it would be the biggest change to U.S. policy toward the island since the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. 

That law has been the basis of U.S. engagement with what China sees as one of its provinces since 1979, when the U.S. and China started talking to each other.

Senator Bob Menendez, the committee's Democratic chair, stated, "We must be realistic." He said the US doesn't want conflict or additional tension with Beijing.

The bill would give Taiwan $4.5 billion in security aid over the next four years and back its membership in international groups.

The act also has a lot of language about how to punish China if there are wars across the strait that separates the mainland from Taiwan.