he US Senate approved the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act on August 1, raising the total defense appropriation bill to a new high of US$716 billion. The Act includes several Taiwan-related clauses, including expanding arms sales to Taiwan and pushing for joint training, reports news portal www.haiwainet.com
Meant to assure the Taiwanese authorities, such acts usually involve Taiwan and stress security protection, Li Zhenguang, deputy director of the Taiwan Research Institute at Beijing Union University, told the portal. Li said that the Senate-passed version fails to mention joint military exercises, showing the country is cautious in handling the Taiwan issue to avoid a major impact on Sino-US relations.
Judging by the Taiwan Travel Act signed into force by US President Donald Trump in March and now the Authorization Act, the US is raising the stakes in the Taiwan issue and regards it as a major strategic tool to use against China, according to the China Review News Agency.
But this does not mean Taiwan's authorities are a player in the situation. Assistant researcher Ren Dongmei at the Institute for Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences noted that America still puts its own interests first judging from the Travel Act, so the country’s not really backing Taiwan, but still seeing it as leverage to contain China.
The American government is waiting for the time to put the authorization act into effect, as it is still awaiting Trump’s signature. And to what degree the two acts will be enforced still awaits further examination, www.haiwainet.com reports.