Update: Dec 11, 2019 2021 18:51 STI
Taipei [Taiwan], Dec. 11 (ANI): Taiwanese Navy May Join Exercise Rim of the Pacific from Next Year Under FY2022 Defense Policy Bill passed by House of Representatives the United States.
Earlier this week, the lower house of the US Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which sets the country’s defense policy and budget, according to Radio Free Asia.
In addition, the bill suggests “conducting practical training and military exercises with Taiwan, including, where appropriate, inviting Taiwan to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise conducted in 2022” in order to support the development of the Taiwan Defense Force.
The NDAA bill has yet to pass the Senate before it gets approval from President Joe Biden’s office.
“It will depend on Biden to decide whether inviting Taiwan to a joint exercise is worth its political capital,” said Richard Bitzinger, senior researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.
“At the moment, I think there is a 50/50 chance that an invitation will be granted,” he added.
In addition, RIMPAC is the world’s largest multinational maritime warfare exercise held every two years since 1974. Prior to that, it was held annually. The exercise is organized by the Indo-Pacific command of the US Navy and joined by navies from dozens of countries. China participated in 2014 and 2016.
“Taiwan’s participation in RIMPAC would be very important politically as a sign of support from the United States and other participating countries,” said Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. colonel who spent 2019 in Taiwan to study defense. of the island.
“If the Americans do not help the Taiwanese armed forces come out of more than 40 years of isolation and give them the opportunity to train with someone, Taiwan’s defense capabilities will not improve as they should be it, ”he added. .
So far, the US military has not conducted any bilateral and joint exercises with Taiwan, but it was reported in October that a number of US military trainers had been deployed to the island for at least a year, according to Radio Free Asia.
Rim of the Pacific is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is organized every two years. The first RIMPAC, held in 1971, (ANI)