Senate committee approves bill to enhance military assistance for Taiwan

A US Senate committee has approved legislation that would increase US military support for Taiwan, amid heightened tensions between the US and China.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed the bipartisan proposal with a majority vote.

The bill would allocate 4.5 billion dollars in military assistance for Taiwan over four years, designate Taiwan as a major non-NATO ally and support Taiwan's participation in international organizations.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez indicated that the bill was to respond to threats from China, saying, "We need to be clear-eyed about what we are facing."

The legislation is certain to draw further angry reactions from China as bilateral ties remain strained following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August.

For the bill to become law, it must pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden.

Some US media report that the White House remains cautious about the legislation.