Blackburn Introduces Legislation To Bolster Taiwan Defense Amid Tensions With CCP
March 9, 2023
U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Taiwan Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. This legislation will support the United States’ partnership with Taiwan by authorizing a defense lend or lease program with the Government of Taiwan, in the case of preemptive aggression by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Last August, Senator Blackburn visited Taiwan to hear directly from the nation’s leadership about their needs and how the United States can support freedom for the Taiwanese people.
Representative Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Taiwan is our greatest partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and their continued sovereignty is essential to challenging the New Axis of Evil,” said Senator Blackburn. “Communist China has made it clear they will stop at nothing to become globally dominant. The Taiwan Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act will help ensure Taiwan has the capacity to defend itself and strengthen the United States’ commitment to preserving freedom around the globe.”
“Taiwan must have the capacity to defend itself against an invasion from Communist China. The brave Taiwanese people are a shining example of democracy in the Indo-Pacific—a stark contrast to Xi Jinping’s tyrannical regime that commits gross human rights abuses. I’m proud to join my colleagues on this good bill to strengthen Taiwanese forces and continue to show that we refuse to bow to Xi’s aggression," said Senator Rick Scott.
“There is no doubt that the CCP is the greatest threat to global stability and America’s national security,” said Representative Steel. “As they continue to threaten Taiwan and openly challenge the United States, it is more important than ever that we take immediate and decisive action to deter further aggression against our allies. The Taiwan Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act will send an unmistakable message to the CCP that the United States stands with our allies and is prepared to arm Taiwan with the tools it needs to defend itself from a CCP attack. The time to put an end to a CCP invasion is before it begins. That is why I am calling on every single one of my colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – to support this urgent and crucial bipartisan legislation.”
In 1941, the Lend-Lease Act authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lend or lease, rather than sell, war supplies to any nation deemed vital to the defense of the United States. These supplies included warships and warplanes, weapons, provisions, and raw materials.
This bill will help to strengthen Taipei’s defensive capabilities while protecting the Taiwanese and American citizens residing on the island from potential aggression carried out by the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Specifically, this bill:
- Authorizes the administration to lend or lease defense articles to Taipei;
- Requires a report on determinations of defense needs of Taiwan;
- Defines and clarifies what the means of aggression by the PLA might look like; and
- Establishes expedited procedures to ensure the timely delivery of defense articles loaned or leased to Taiwan under this bill.
Click here for bill text.