4th December 2020 – (Washington) The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services reached a consensus on the content of the 2021 National Defense Authorisation Act on Wednesday (2nd) local time, and released a summary of the draft content on Thursday (3rd). Regarding Hong Kong, the United States prohibits the export of defence-related goods, services and ammunition to the Hong Kong police. The bill also reaffirms its support for Taiwan and helps Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defence capabilities. The bill needs to be passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives and then passed to the President for signature.
The bill establishes the “Pacific Deterrence Initiative”, providing US$2.2 billion (about HK$17.2 billion) in funding to enhance the modernisation of U.S. power and strengthen U.S. status and capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, and assist U.S. allies and partners to deter malicious behaviour in Mainland China. The bill also emphasises preventing mainland industrial espionage activities, requiring mainland military companies to maintain transparency, and protecting the US defence industry supply chain and key research.
On the Taiwan side, the National Defence Authorisation Act supports the United States in assisting Taiwan in developing modern defence capabilities that are necessary and readily available to ensure that Taiwan maintains sufficient self-defence capabilities. The bill also requires the U.S. Department of Defence to submit an annual report describing the progress of its strategic goals to prevent competitors from confronting their defence partners.