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US Defense Authorization Bill Includes Taiwan in South China Sea Initiative


 US Defense Authorization Bill Includes Taiwan in South China Sea Initiative

 Sources: All Taipei newspapers

October 1, 2015

The conference committee of the US Senate and House of Representatives adopted a bill titled “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016” on September 29. In the section covering the South China Sea Initiative, the Congress authorized the Defense Secretary to provide assistance and training to foreign countries, including the Republic of China. 

The Senate and House of Representatives will separately hold a vote on the bill and if adopted, the bill will be delivered to President Obama to be signed into law, barring an unlikely veto. 

With regard to “assistance and training” in the South China Sea Initiative section, the bill stipulated, “The Secretary of Defense is authorized, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, for the purpose of increasing maritime security and maritime domain awareness of foreign countries along the South China Sea, to provide training to ministry, agency, and headquarters level organizations for such forces. If the Secretary of Defense determines that the payment of incremental expenses in connection with training will facilitate the participation of foreign countries, the Secretary may use amounts available for the payment of such incremental expenses. The foreign countries specified in this paragraph are Brunei, Singapore, and Taiwan.”


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