Taiwan’s Participation in 2020 RIMPAC

Summary

Taiwan has been excluded from joining major military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region. In order to counter PRC’s military threats against the island nation, the United States needs to help train the Taiwanese forces in addition to simply providing arms and weapons. We therefore ask Members of Congress to support Taiwan’s participation in 2020 RIMPAC, an initiative with strong Congressional approval in the past decade.

Background

Taiwan has been excluded from joining any major military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region after the U.S. established diplomatic ties with the PRC in 1979. This left the military of Taiwan behind in warfighting concepts, training, management, among others. These cannot be simply compensated by providing arms and weapons to the island nation.

Strong Congressional Support

Taiwan’s participation in RIMPAC has garnered strong support from Congress in the past. This can be seen in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, of which the RIMPAC has been one of the few exercises specifically pointed out by Members of Congress as the target to move US-Taiwan security cooperation forward.

Modernize the Taiwan Military

As Taiwan has not been able to join any bilateral or multilateral military exercises in the region, its military forces is relatively behind in terms of its warfighting concepts, training, and others. Having Taiwan observing, if not participating in the RIMPAC, can be extremely helpful modernizing the military forces of Taiwan.

Encourage Other Countries to Work with Taiwan

Other countries are also concerned about building security partnership with Taiwan due to the pressure from the PRC. By inviting Taiwan to the 2020 RIMPAC, the United States would encourage others to follow. This can be seen in the growing naval transits in the Taiwan Strait by like-minded countries.

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