A bipartisan bill placed on the Senate legislative calendar two weeks ago promotes the security of Taiwan, bolsters regional stability, and deters People's Republic of China (PRC) aggression against the much smaller island nation. The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 (S.4428) was introduced in June by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and co-sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
According to Pete Hoekstra, former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the bipartisan bill is worth noting.
"It's always great when you see some bipartisanship on a foreign policy issue – especially on something positive," he tells American Family News.
According to the former Michigan lawmaker, political rhetoric about the Chinese threat to Taiwan has not always been helpful and concise.
"The president has come out on occasion and said one thing when, within hours, someone else backtracks on what he said and shares what the president 'really meant to say,'" Hoekstra explains.
"[While] the president and his administration have confused the situation, what we do see with this bill is a difference between where the president and the administration are and where Congress is [on U.S. support of Taiwan]."
Hoekstra, who is advisory board chairman of the Center for Security Policy, says the legislation sends "a clear and concise message" to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). That message? "The U.S. Senate is prepared to stand by Taiwan," he states.
The former ambassador is hopeful the U.S. House will agree with that message once S.4428 makes its way through the Senate.
"[The bill] puts in place a series of policies and practices that demonstrate and show America's support for Taiwan," Hoekstra contends. "This is particularly important because the U.S. has a president and an administration that continue to send conflicting messages."
To counter those conflicting messages and avoid a major crisis in foreign policy, he says the U.S. must signal to the CCP that there is a "bright line" it cannot cross – and that "major consequences" will follow if it does.
"Thankfully," Hoekstra concludes, "The Senate has taken the opportunity to send that signal."
Pete Hoekstra is co-author of the book "The CCP is at War with America" (published by the Center for Security Policy).