U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Six Assurances Legislation

At 4:40PM on May 16, 2016, HCR88 “Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the Cornerstone of United States-Taiwan Relations” went to the floor of the full House of Representatives for a vote and passed.

Reps. Royce, Chabot, Engel, Ros-Lehtinen and Carter (GA) spoke in strong bi-partisan support of the resolution during the 20 minute long floor debate. (See: Attached)

HCR88 was introduced last October by former chairman of the Asian Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH). It concludes that “It is the sense of Congress that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances together form the cornerstone of United States relations with Taiwan.”

The resolution first lauds the importance of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA): “April 10, 2015, marked the 36th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8), codifying into law the basis for continued commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and the Taiwan.” The TRA was signed into law during the Carter administration.

However, when President Reagan agreed to sign the U.S.-China Third Communiqué of August 17, 1982, he was disturbed by its possible effect on Taiwan and therefore decided that Taiwan needed to be reassured that the U.S. would not abandon Taiwan.

Enter the 1982 Six Assurances.

Thus, before quoting all Six Assurances verbatim, the resolution reads: “Whereas in 1982 President Reagan wanted to reinforce United States support for Taiwan and therefore issued the Six Assurances.”

Before the resolution reached the floor, key members of Congress had signed onto Congressman Steve Chabot’s resolution as co-sponsors: Reps. Ed Royce, Pete Sessions, Elliot Engel, Chris Smith, Brad Sherman, Dana Rohrabacher, Michael Burgess, Garrett Graves, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mimi Walters, Randy Weber, Rob Bishop, Matt Salmon, Michael McCaul, Paul Cook, Gerald Connolly, and Ted Yoho.

FAPA President Peter Chen states: “Since the “Six Assurances” were a verbal pledge, this is the first time in history that they reach the floor of Congress in the form of legislation. This adds tremendous weight and momentum to the Six Assurances and further solidifies the US commitment to Taiwan.”
Peter Chen concludes: “With the May 20 inauguration in Taiwan, passage of the resolution is a welcome gift to the people of Taiwan and a celebration of their continued commitment to freedom, human rights and democracy.”

H. CON. RES. 88
Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of United States–Taiwan relations.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
October 28, 2015
Mr. Chabot submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of United States–Taiwan relations.
Whereas for more than 50 years, a close relationship has existed between the United States and Taiwan, which has been of major economic, cultural, and strategic advantage to both countries;
Whereas over the past two decades, the people of Taiwan have worked hard to establish a vibrant and pluralistic democracy in their country and conducted 5 successful Presidential elections, successive elections for members of their national legislature, numerous local elections, and 2 national referendums;
Whereas the United States has vital security and strategic interests in the Taiwan Strait, with United States troops stationed in countries within the Taiwan Strait region;
Whereas April 10, 2015, marked the 36th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8), codifying into law the basis for continued commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and Taiwan;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait since its enactment in 1979;
Whereas when the Taiwan Relations Act was enacted, it affirmed that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China was based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined by peaceful means;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act declares that peace and stability in the area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act states that it is the policy of the United States to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character to maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act also states that “it is the policy of the United States to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural and other relations between the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on the China mainland”;
Whereas in 1982, President Ronald Reagan sought to reinforce United States support for Taiwan and therefore issued the Six Assurances as guidelines to conduct relations between the United States and Taiwan;
Whereas on July 14, 1982 then head of the American Institute in Taiwan James Lilley put forward in President Reagan’s name Six Assurances regarding America’s policy toward Taiwan;
Whereas these Six Assurances stipulated that the United States —
1.     Had not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to the Republic of China;
2.     Had not agreed to hold prior consultations with the PRC regarding arms sales to the Republic of China;
3.     Would not play a mediation role between the PRC and the Republic of China;
4.     Would not revise the Taiwan Relations Act;
5.     Had not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan; and
6.     Would not exert pressure on the Republic of China to enter into negotiations with the PRC.
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the United States hereby affirm that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances together form the cornerstone of United States relations with Taiwan.

(May 16, 2016) U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Six Assurances Legislation