Senate Committee passes bill requiring U.S. agencies to prepare for CCP attack on Taiwan


10th June 2023 – (Washington) On Thursday, 8th June, the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill that would require major government agencies to prepare for and respond to a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attack on Taiwan. The bill, titled the Taiwan Protection and National Resilience Act, was put forth by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Gary Peters on 30th March.

The bill requires the heads of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD), the Department of Commerce, and the Department of State, to propose comprehensive sanction strategies and to assist the U.S. and its allies in formulating policies to respond to any coercive actions by Beijing. This includes an invasion that “infringes upon the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan by preventing access to international waterways, airspace, or telecommunications networks.”

The bill also requires agency heads to provide a report to Congress on tools that could be used to counter the CCP, such as the denial of goods and services from the U.S. Additionally, the bill calls for a reduction in reliance on goods traded with Beijing that makes the U.S. strategically vulnerable.

In a press release following the committee meeting, Rubio stressed the importance of supporting Taiwan as a valued ally of the United States. He stated that “Congress must continue to closely monitor the CCP’s hostile acts against our democratic ally and remain firm in our strategy to deter any aggression against Taiwan.”

The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration. Both the Senate and House of Representatives must agree on a version of the bill before it can be submitted to U.S. President Joe Biden for signature into law.

The passage of this bill comes amid growing tensions between the U.S. and China, particularly over Taiwan. China considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and has repeatedly threatened to use force to bring it under its control. The U.S. has long supported Taiwan, including through arms sales and other forms of military assistance, but has been careful not to provoke China too much on the issue.

However, the Biden administration has taken a more assertive stance toward China in recent months, including by increasing support for Taiwan. In April, the U.S. State Department issued new guidelines that make it easier for U.S. officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts. The move was strongly criticised by China, which warned the U.S. to “stop playing with fire” on the Taiwan issue.

The passage of the Taiwan Protection and National Resilience Act is likely to further strain U.S.-China relations. While the bill is still subject to approval by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, its passage by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a sign of bipartisan support for a tougher stance toward China on the Taiwan issue. If the bill becomes law, it could lead to increased tensions and potentially even military conflict between the U.S. and China over Taiwan.