Senate Unanimously Passes Six Assurances Legislation
On July 6, SCR38 “Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the Cornerstone of United States-Taiwan Relations” went to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote and passed unanimously.
SCR38 was introduced on May 19 by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and James Inhofe (R-OK.) It concludes: “That Congress (1) affirms that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are both cornerstones of United States relations with Taiwan; and (2) urges the President and the Secretary of State to affirm the Six Assurances publicly, proactively, and consistently as a cornerstone of United States–Taiwan relations.”
A similar resolution passed the House of Representatives unanimously on May 16, 2016.
The resolution first lauds the swift enactment of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) after the U.S. switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on January 1, 1979: “Whereas the United States Congress acted swiftly to reaffirm the United States–Taiwan relationship with the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8) just 100 days later, ensuring the United States maintained a robust and enduring relationship with Taiwan.”
Three years later, 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.
In testimony before Congress immediately after the issuance of this U.S.-China Third Communiqué of August 17, 1982, then-Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs John H. Holdridge stated on behalf of the executive branch that—
(1) “… [w]e did not agree to set a date certain for ending arms sales to Taiwan”;
(2) “… [w]e see no mediation role for the United States” between Taiwan and the PRC;
(3) “… [n]or will we attempt to exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into negotiations with the PRC”;
(4) “… [t]here has been no change in our longstanding position on the issue of sovereignty over Taiwan”;
(5) “[w]e have no plans to seek” revisions to the Taiwan Relations Act; and
(6) the August 17 Communiqué “should not be read to imply that we have agreed to engage in prior consultations with Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan”;
FAPA President Peter Chen states: “Since the “Six Assurances” were a verbal pledge, this is the first time in history that they reached the floor of BOTH Houses 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: “It is our mission at FAPA and the dream of Taiwanese Americans to make sure that both the Taiwan Relations Act AND the Six Assurances are the first that come to mind when Capitol Hill in particular and the rest of the world in general think about U.S.-Taiwan relations. It is high time that the outdated and unrealistic “One China Policy” and the three U.S.-China Communiqués be relegated to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
這項決議案是由參議員魯比歐(R-FL)與梅南德茲 (D-NJ) 在今年的五月19日聯合提案的, 並獲得布朗(D-OH), 賈德納(R-CO)和殷荷菲(R-OK)的共同聯署。這個決議案內容包括:「國會 (1)重申台灣關係法及六項保證是美台關係的基石，及 (2)要求總統及國務卿公開、主動、一貫的聲明六項保證為美台關係的基石。」
在1982年八月17日發布美中三公報之後的國會聽證會上，當時負責東亞及太平洋事務的助理國務卿霍爾德里奇(John H. Holdridge) 代表行政部門表示: