Pro-Taiwan provisions pass U.S. House as part of defense bill
ROC Central News Agency
Washington, May 24 (CNA) The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill for fiscal 2019 including provisions to help strengthen Taiwan's military capability.
The US$717 billion National Defense Authorization Act cleared the House 351-66.
Section 1253, headed "Strengthening Taiwan's Force Readiness," would direct the U.S. secretary of defense to conduct a comprehensive assessment, in consultation with appropriate counterparts of Taiwan, on ways to enhance and reform Taiwan's military forces, particularly Taiwan's reserve forces, according to the text of the bill published by the House.
The assessment would also require the development of recommendations to strengthen bilateral cooperation and improve Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, it stated.
The secretary of defense, in consultation with the secretary of state, would be required to submit a report on the assessment and a list of recommendations and planned actions to the appropriate congressional committees not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, it said.
Section 1262, headed "Senior Defense Engagement with Taiwan," would express the sense of Congress that, pursuant to the Taiwan Travel Act, a service secretary or member of the joint chiefs should visit Taiwan for a senior-level defense engagement.
It would also require a briefing to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives on any plans by the Department of Defense to carry out senior-level defense engagement.
(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low)
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