The House’s new committee on China released 10 recommendations for ways that the US should increase support for Taiwan to prepare for a future war with China over the island. Members of the panel are looking to include their recommendations in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Some of the ideas were lessons the members of Congress said they learned from a recent war game they participated in that was conducted by the Center for a New American Security, a hawkish think tank funded by US arms makers and the Taiwanese government.
According to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the war game showed that the US would quickly run out of long-range missiles in a war with China over Taiwan. As a result, the first recommendation is for the US to make more long-range missiles.
Gallagher also said that the war game showed it would take the US and its allies time to craft economic sanctions to target China during a conflict. Because of that, the panel wants the US and its allies to plan economic measures ahead of time.
The panel shared the 10 recommendations on Twitter, which include:
- Manufacture & supply more long-range missiles to the Indo-
- Devise severe economic costs in concert with our allies ahead of
time, should China act against Taiwan
- Expand combined military training between the United States and
- Deliver the $19 billion of backlogged military equipment and
weapons that Taiwan ordered from the United States
- Establish a US military Joint Task Force or Joint Force HQ for
crisis command and control in Indo-Pacific Command
- Enhance cyber resiliency in US critical infrastructure, especially
at port, air, and rail facilities with emphasis on military mobility
- Help train Taiwan to strengthen its own cybersecurity
- Create a US-Taiwan Combined Planning Group to build stronger
relationships between our defense forces
- Strengthen US military posture in the region by expanding bases
with allies, hardening fuel depots, and enhancing logistics
- Expand Taiwan’s military stockpiles and resiliency to attack
Each recommendation would be seen as provocative from the perspective of Beijing, especially steps to increase joint military training between the US and Taiwan and US efforts to ship more weapons to the island.
The Biden administration is currently planning to provide Taiwan with $500 million in “free” weapons using the Presidential Drawdown Authority, the primary authority the US has used to arm Ukraine. The US also recently deployed 200 troops to Taiwan to assist in training, marking the largest known US military presence on the island since Washington severed diplomatic relations in 1979.
The Chinese military has called these steps “absolutely intolerable.” Gallagher and other China hawks are trying to sell their recommendations as “deterrence” and necessary to prevent a war, but Beijing’s actions have made clear that Taiwan will come under more Chinese military pressure in response to new types of US support for the island.
The most notable example was when China launched its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan in August 2022 in response to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visiting the island. China recently conducted similar exercises when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hosted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California.