2024-0328: Biden Signs Spending Bill with Military Aid for Taiwan; Rep. Bergman Leads Delegation to Taiwan

Biden Signs Spending Bill with Military Aid and Other Measures Supporting Taiwan

On March 23, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024” (H.R.2882) — a US$1.2 trillion spending package that includes US$300 million in Foreign Military Financing to Taiwan, as well as funding for U.S.-Taiwan cooperative projects.

Under the package, the “Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2024” would provide robust funding to protect the United States, and directs that funding to “critical national defense efforts,” including “countering the PRC [People’s Republic of China],” according to a summary of the spending package provided by the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations.

The “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024” in the package prioritizes funding for U.S. national security interests in the Indo-Pacific and strengthening the defense needs of Taiwan, including not less than US$300 million in “Foreign Military Financing” for Taiwan, and US$400 million for the “Countering PRC Influence Fund.”

The package also includes nearly US$36 million for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to carry out the Taiwan Relations Act, including the Taiwan Fellowship Program, which allows U.S. officials to study and work in Taiwan for up to two years.

The act allocates US$4 million for the AIT to use for the “Global Cooperation and Training Framework” (GCTF) ― a platform to utilize Taiwan’s expertise to address global issues, to build up Taiwan’s partnerships with regional countries, and further expand its international presence.

The act also provides that “none of the funds made available by this Act 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.”

Meanwhile, in Taipei, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on March 24, expressing gratitude toward U.S. lawmakers across party lines and the Biden administration for using concrete actions to again demonstrate support for the comprehensive Taiwan-U.S. partnership and security across the Taiwan Strait.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2024/03/25/2003815426
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/news/5122223

Rep. Bergman Leads U.S. Congressional Delegation to Taiwan

A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) arrived in Taiwan on March 27 for a three-day visit. Other members of the delegation include Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).

The delegation would meet with senior Taiwan leaders, including President Tsai Ing-wen, President-elect Lai Ching-te, and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, and other significant issues of mutual interest. 

Rep. Bergman currently chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, with Rep. Panetta serving as a member, while Rep. Norcross serves as ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.

In the statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended its warm welcome to the delegation, adding that the visit shows high support for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation.

During the delegation’s meeting  with President Tsai on March 28, Chairman Bergman stated that “Taiwan is a key U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific, both through strong security cooperation and economic ties.” 

Their delegation is here to show U.S. Congress’s continued support for our strategic partnership with Taiwan amid China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the region, he added.

President Tsai thanked the U.S. Congress and government for helping bolster Taiwan’s self-defense and further strengthening the Taiwan-U.S. partnership through various legislation and concrete actions.

Tsai also called on the visiting U.S. lawmakers to help resolve the Taiwan-U.S. double taxation issue at the earliest possible juncture, which will facilitate even closer bilateral investment and industrial cooperation.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202403280004
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/news/5131818
[3] Office of the President (Taiwan): https://english.president.gov.tw/News/6694