As the Chinese government continues its military buildup and prepares for a potential invasion of Taiwan, lawmakers from both parties rallied together last week to apply United States cybersecurity technologies to defend the small island state.
According to reports, Nevada Democrat Senator Jacky Rosen, South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds, Pennsylvania Democrat Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, and Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher brought forth the Taiwan Cybersecurity Act, requiring the Pentagon to increase its cyber outreach and work with Taiwan’s government.
Officials say that expanding the relationship between the Pentagon and the independent island would include military training exercises and the preparation of military forces against cyber activity from China.
Senator Rosen said last week that the U.S. is “acutely aware of the threat that China poses in the cyber domain,” comparing the current tensions between Taiwan and Beijing to Russia and Ukraine.
Republican Congressman Gallagher, head of the House Special Committee on China, said in a public statement that the bill would aid in arming the Taiwanese army “to the teeth in the cyber domain.”
Lawmakers in Congress consider Beijing a deadly cyber threat, citing the Biden administration’s national cybersecurity strategy released last March, labeling Beijing as the most persistent cyber threat with the ability to create narratives and steal intellectual property.
In a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with the top U.S. military commander in the Indo-Pacific, Navy Admiral John Aquilino told Senator Rosen that the U.S. is working to “strengthen ally, partner and friend networks, so that they are secure and that they can have a confidence that the things they are putting out in their own networks are not being read or impacted by other nations.”
“To talk to those allies and partners right now, I have 13 separate networks; that is costly; they are at risk,” Aquilino said. “What we are attempting to deliver is a single pane of glass that allows us to communicate securely, in a cyber-safe way, with all of our partners across the region, no matter who, at the level at which we can share.”
The Communist government of China considers Taiwan a renegade state and has vowed to take it by military force regardless of the resistance it faces.
The Chinese government has been building its navy and aerial forces, conducting military drills in the South China Sea and around the small independent state. In the past few months, the U.S. has sent military personnel to train Taiwanese soldiers, supplying military hardware and software worth billions of dollars. The Taiwanese government has increased its defensive capabilities while altering American allies of cyberattacks each week.