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Tougher US stance on Taiwan urged by congressional advisory body

American and Chinese flags are seen prior to a meeting between senior defense officials of both countries at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, the United States, Nov. 9, 2018. REUTERS / Yuri Gripas / File Photo

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

The influential US-China Audit and Security Audit Commission (USCC) included a number of recommendations on Taiwan in its annual report to Congress in light of the heightened tensions between the democratically ruled island and China.

According to the report, Congress should authorize and allocate funds to Taiwan to purchase defense articles from the United States and to fund the deployment of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles and other ammunition in the Indo-Pacific while increasing surveillance funds.

“A lack of clarity in US policy could contribute to a deterrent failure if Chinese leaders interpret these policies as such that opportunistic aggression against Taiwan may not provoke a quick or decisive US response,” the report said.

China claims Taiwan and has vowed to use force to bring the island under Chinese control if necessary, and cross-strait tensions have escalated in recent months.

In a video call this week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping Biden warned that China would respond to provocations in Taiwan. Continue reading

The report addressed a number of economic issues between the United States and China, including the recommendation by Congress to consider legislation to address risks to US investors and interests in investing in China.

China’s c -ital controls “can limit investors ‘ability to withdraw money from stock and bond investments, and the lack of oversight by trusted authorities can put investors’ funds at risk,” commission chairman 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 companies when Chinese mainland companies set up offshore companies to circumvent China’s foreign direct investment bans in certain industries and get listed on US stock exchanges.

The report said US participation in China’s financial markets is increasing – reaching as high as $ 1.2 trillion in 2020 – and “overtaking the US government’s defenses” against threats from troubled Chinese companies.

The Biden government has banned investments in 24 publicly traded Chinese companies, but Commissioners Jeffrey Feidler and Michael Wessel say “a lot more should be on the list”.

Ad -tation by Shri Navratnam and Timothy Heritage

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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