Stronger US stance on Taiwan, urged by Congressional advisory body – Community News
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Stronger US stance on Taiwan, urged by Congressional advisory body

US and Chinese flags are on display before a meeting between senior defense officials from both countries at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, US Nov. 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (Reuters) – Urgent action is needed to bolster the credibility of the US military’s deterrent to any potential Chinese aggression against Taiwan, according to a report from a bipartisan advisory to the US Congress released Wednesday.

The influential US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) has included a series of recommendations on Taiwan in its annual report to Congress amid heightened tensions between the democratically-ruled island and China.

The report said Congress should authorize and provide funds to Taiwan to purchase defense items from the United States and fund the deployment of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and other munitions in the Indo-Pacific, while increasing funding for surveillance.

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“A lack of clarity in US policy could contribute to a deterrence failure if Chinese leaders interpret those policies as opportunistic aggression against Taiwan, may not elicit a prompt or decisive US response,” the report said.

China claims Taiwan as its property and has vowed to bring the island under Chinese control, using force if necessary, and tensions in the Taiwan Strait have escalated in recent months.

In a video call this week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping Biden warned that China would respond to provocations against Taiwan. read more

The report addressed a range of economic issues between the United States and China, including Congress’ recommendation to consider legislation to address the risks to US investors and interests in Chinese investments.

China’s capital controls “may limit investors’ ability to get money out of stock and bond investments, and the lack of oversight by trusted authorities could put investors’ money at risk,” committee chair Robin Cleveland said in an opening statement. More importantly, numerous companies that will benefit from US investments have been formally identified as threats to US national security interests.

The report recommends banning or at least better identifying the risks of floating rate entities, with mainland Chinese companies creating offshore corporate entities to circumvent China’s ban on foreign direct investment in certain industries and listings on US exchanges.

The report said U.S. participation in China’s financial markets was increasing — reaching $1.2 trillion by 2020 — and “exceeding the US government’s defenses” against threats from troubled Chinese companies.

The Biden administration has banned investment in 24 publicly traded Chinese companies, but, say Commissioners Jeffrey Feidler and Michael Wessel, “there should be many more on the list.”

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Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Timothy Heritage

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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