2024-0307: Bill Introduced in Senate to Deter Chinese Invasion of Taiwan; U.S. Urges China to Talk with Taiwan

U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Deter Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

On March 5, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced a bipartisan bill (S.3861) that would require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to terminate the U.S.-China Tax Treaty within 30 days of a Presidential determination that China has initiated an armed attack on Taiwan.

“The United States must make it crystal clear the Chinese Communist Party will face dire consequences if it moves to invade Taiwan,” Sen. Cornyn said in a statement, urging his colleagues to support the bill.

“The security of our partners in the Indo-Pacific is critical to American trade objectives, regional stability, and fostering democracy around the world,” Sen. Coons said, adding that “potential aggression from the Chinese against Taiwan would be seriously detrimental to our economic relationship and incur immediate, severe consequences.”

“It is common sense that if China attacks our [U.S.] ally, then China should be penalized,” Sen. Cassidy said.

“Taiwan is one of our most important partners in the Indo-Pacific, and the U.S. will continue to support Taiwan’s democratic values and hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable,” Sen. Cortez Masto said. “This legislation will help deter aggression in the region by making it clear that the U.S. will not give favorable tax treatment to countries that make war on their neighbors.”

According to Article 28 of the U.S.-China Tax Treaty, either side can terminate the treaty with six months’ notice.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2024/03/07/2003814567

U.S. Urges China to Engage in Meaningful Dialogue with Taiwan

On March 5, the U.S. Department of State called for China to cease its pressure campaign against Taiwan and “engage in meaningful dialogue,” following a Chinese official’s remarks reiterating Beijing’s position that the median line of the Taiwan Strait does not exist.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang said in Beijing last week on February 29 that “there exists no Taiwan Strait median line,” restating China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.

At that time, Zhang was answering questions at a press event about American media outlets’ reports of “frequent” Chinese military deployments with warships and warplanes in waters around Taiwan and the warplanes’ often crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

In response, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said on March 5 that China’s continued provocations in the Taiwan Strait is an indication of its “unilateral attempts to change the status quo.”

The spokesperson said the United States has “consistently urged restraint and no change to the status quo,” a policy that has preserved peace in the region for decades.

The U.S. urges China “to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan.”

Instead, China should engage in “meaningful dialogue with Taiwan,” as the U.S. believes cross-Taiwan Strait differences must be resolved peacefully, the spokesperson said.

Earlier on March 1, Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng said that the Taiwan Strait’s median line was a tacit agreement observed by Taiwan and China for many years.

Denying the existence of the median line eliminates the possibility of negotiations and escalates pressure in the region, he added.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202403060015
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/5108411