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Faced with a growing Chinese threat, the United States is seeking to approve funding for new military aid to Taiwan and the Philippines.

Faced with a growing Chinese threat, the United States is seeking to approve funding for new military aid to Taiwan and the Philippines.

Faced with China’s growing threat in the Indo-Pacific region, the US is seeking to approve new funding in Congress. Military aid to Taiwan and the Philippines with a view to improving their defense systems.

Anti-China Bill

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee this week released a State Department spending bill for fiscal year 2025, with sections expressing continued U.S. interest in countering China’s advances in the Indo-Pacific region.

In recent years, the Chinese regime’s foreign policy has shown more assertiveness toward countries in Southeast Asia, particularly as it maintains a series of territorial disputes around the South China Sea.

In light of this, despite Democrats arguing that the bill underfunds the State Department and the US Agency for International Development, it has built solid bipartisan support for increasing overseas military aid to both the Philippines and Taiwan.

The bill, which is $12 billion less than the Biden administration’s State Department budget request for fiscal year 2025, would cut overall funding by 6%. At the same time, it allocates $100 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to the Philippines and another $500 million to Taiwan.

However, the allocation for the Philippines and Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing Program exceeds the State Department’s FY 2025 budget request, which calls for $42.2 billion in FMF for the Philippines and $100 million for Taiwan.

The FMF program provides monetary assistance to US allies and partners to purchase defense equipment, training and services to ensure they can work together toward common security goals, in this case, the China threat in the region.

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The law makes it clear that we will not retreat from the cause of freedom” House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., said during Tuesday’s bill debate. He further said about the project:Countering the growing influence of communist China in the Indo-Pacific region and threats from Taiwan and our other partners in the region are countering the growing presence of hostile regimes.”.

In the South China Sea’s Scarborough Shoal, the Chinese coast guard attacked Philippine fishing boats in late April, following the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, as China began a shock exercise around its home island. .

American Alliances in the Pacific

The aggressiveness of China’s growing operations in the region is causing the US to focus more on providing FMF to countries in need, such as the Philippines and Taiwan, to counter its growing rival. Also, with the same aim of deterring the Asian giant, the US has sought different partnerships with its Indo-Pacific allies.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the US and the Philippines, signed in 2014, has intensified joint military exercises known as “Polycathon”.

Philippine Army Chief of Staff Anthony Coronel (L) stands in front of US soldiers in Nueva Ecija province, northern Philippines, March 31, 2023.

The word Baligatan means “shoulder to shoulder” and such exercises focus on territorial security that the Philippines needs to improve. In addition, the agreement allows the United States to deploy troops and finance the development and construction of Philippine military bases. By 2023, 10 sites will be built under this agreement.

Other laws enacted by the US to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific include: Foreign Assistance Bill, was approved by Congress in April this year. That includes the bill $2 billion in foreign aid funding for Taiwan And other allies “facing Chinese aggression,” as well 1.9 billion dollars for arms transfer from US arsenals to Taiwan.

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You may be interested: Amid tensions with the US, the Russian Navy frigate Almirante Gorshkov has arrived in Cuba to participate in military exercises.

Source: Defense News