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U.S. House passes bill with US$500 million in military aid for Taiwan

06/29/2024 02:36 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Washington, June 28 (CNA) The United States House of Representatives on Friday approved an appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2025 that includes US$500 million in military aid for Taiwan.

The appropriations bill, which authorizes funding for the Department of State, U.S. foreign operations and related programs for 2025, was passed with a vote of 212-200 in a Republican-led House.

The bill stipulates that the U.S. will provide no less than US$500 million in foreign military financing for Taiwan to strengthen deterrence across the Taiwan Strait and offer Taiwan up to US$2 billion in loans and loan guarantees for the same purpose.

The funding will be made available under its "Foreign Military Financing Program," which enables U.S. partners to purchase American defense articles, services and training, according to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

In addition, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, shall prioritize the delivery of defense articles and services for Taiwan, the bill noted.

The provisions are in line with the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, which was consolidated into the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

Under the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, the U.S. will provide up to US$10 billion in foreign military financing for Taiwan over five years from 2023 to 2027.

Apart from military financing, the appropriations bill states that no funding should be used to "create, procure, or display any map that inaccurately depicts the territory and social and economic system of Taiwan and the islands or island groups administered by Taiwan authorities."

The bill also authorizes at least US$4 million in funding for the Global Cooperation and Training Framework -- a cooperation initiative established by the U.S. and Taiwan in 2015 -- under the "Economic Support Fund."

The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act provides a total discretionary allocation of $51.7 billion, some 11 percent, or US$7.6 billion, below the Fiscal Year 2024 enacted level, according to a press release by the House Committee on Appropriations.

Under the bill, the U.S. will also allocate $400 million to "Countering PRC Influence Fund" to deal with the influence of the Chinese government and entities acting on its behalf globally.

Following the House's approval of the bill, the Senate, in which the ruling Democratic Party holds a majority, is expected to introduce and vote on its version of the bill.

After the Senate passes its bill, the two chambers will need to work out the differences in their respective versions before they submit it to the president to sign it into law.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Teng Pei-ju)

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