Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska on January 20th introduced a legislation that seeks to penalize China’s economy with comprehensive sanctions if it attacks Taiwan.

The bill, Sanctions Targeting Aggressors of Neighboring Democracies (STAND) with the Taiwan Act of 2022, is expected to be a different option for the US to counter China in the Taiwan Strait dispute besides having the military involved.

The Alaskan Senator is calling for both parties to support the measure, which promises “devastating economic and financial sanctions against the Chinese Communist Party,” or CCP, if it decides to invade Taiwan.

On the Senate floor on January 20th, Sullivan said, “I believe there is much less disagreement on whether the United States should take actions now to deter a Chinese Communist Party military invasion of Taiwan in the future.”

The bill looks to heavily sanction Chinese financial institutions and some industrial sectors if Taiwan is attacked by the Chinese regime. It will also bar US investment in any Chinese entity linked to the CCP. Certain goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly, or partially from China will be prohibited from being imported to the US.

Sullivan said that previously, China has been deterred from launching an invasion of Taiwan for two reasons, one is the self-ruling island “hedgehog” defense capacities, and one is the US and its allies’ readiness to defend Taiwan. 

The Republican Senator said his bill offers “the use of other instruments of American power beyond our military, such as our global economic and financial strengths, to deter China from an invasion.” 

Sullivan urged the Senators to seriously consider the measure, citing Admiral Philip Davidson, a former Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, who expected that Taiwan might be facing the threat of invasion within “the next six years.” 

He believed that the issue with Taiwan is “the front line between freedom and tyranny, and like West Berlin was during the height of the Cold War.”

He declared, “The free world cannot be neutral in the contest between freedom and authoritarianism that is once again underway around the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Sullivan reminded that the free world cannot watch Taiwan be crushed by China after doing little when Hong Kong democracy was destroyed.

He believed that the CCP is looking “to make the world safe for its authoritarian government, to export its dictatorship model to other countries, to separate America from its democratic allies, and to erode US leadership around the world.”

The GOP lawmaker said STAND with Taiwan Act of 2022 will be “the next logical step” to show the US commitment to defend Taiwan.

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