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Bipartisan legislation aims to ‘arm Taiwan to the teeth in the cyber domain’

A bicameral group of congressional lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that would require the Pentagon to greatly expand cybersecurity cooperation with Taiwan in the face of digital threats from China.

The bipartisan Taiwan Cybersecurity Resiliency Act would authorize the Defense secretary to conduct cyber training exercises with the country, defend its military infrastructure and systems and eliminate malicious digital activity against the island.

The measure was introduced by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

The proposal comes the day after the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which Gallagher chairs, held a war game in which China invaded Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities previously estimated there are 20 to 40 million attempted cyberattacks every month from Beijing.

“We must push back on the Chinese Communist Party’s growing aggression, and its attempts to undermine democracy around the world — including through hostile cyber actions,” Rosen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “All too often, we’ve seen Taiwan used as a testing ground for China’s cyberattacks later used against the United States.”

Rounds, the top Republican on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, said strengthening the island’s military cyber capabilities is “one of multiple measures needed to build Taiwan into a well-armed porcupine.”

Gallagher, who also chairs the House Armed Services cyber subpanel, said the legislation would help “arm Taiwan to the teeth in the cyber domain by strengthening Taiwan’s cyber forces and building an even stronger partnership between our two countries to protect the key systems that keep our militaries and economies operational.”

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Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak

is the senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. Prior to joining Recorded Future News in 2021, he spent more than five years at Politico, where he covered digital and national security developments across Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community. He previously was a reporter at The Hill, National Journal Group and Inside Washington Publishers.