U.S. Representatives Call For Lifting Of All Restrictions On High-Level Visits From Taiwan Including The President

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX)  introduced the “Taiwan Travel Act” today. The Taiwan Travel Act legislation declares “that it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.”Chabot is a long-time Taiwan supporter, and founding co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus. Poe and Sherman are long-time members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The binding resolution reads: “Whereas over the past decades, United States-Taiwan relations have suffered from a lack of communication due to the self-imposed restrictions that the United States maintains on high-level visits with Taiwan.” It concludes: “Whereas it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.”

Rep. Chabot has been a long-time advocate of the lifting of all restrictions on high-level visits from and to Taiwan. He often tells the story that he had received then Taipei mayor Chen Shui-bian in his Capitol Hill office, but when Chen became president of Taiwan, Chabot and two dozen of his colleagues had to shuttle back and forth from Washington DC to New York to have dinner with President Chen.

FAPA President Peter Chen states: “Taiwan and the United States are allies who share common values and interests.  Unrestricted visits will strengthen the friendship, communication, and mutual cooperation between the two democratic nations.”

Peter Chen adds: “The introduction of this resolution and timing of introduction are both significant. With the new administration in place in Taiwan the time is now for the U.S. to enable Taiwan’s president (among others) to come to Washington DC – without restrictions.”

Peter Chen continues: “Why do we let the unelected leaders of China come to DC and give them the red carpet treatment at the White House with a 21 gun salute, while we shun the democratically elected leaders of long-time ally Taiwan? This is American soil. So it should be the prerogative of the United States ONLY to decide who can visit Washington DC, not the prerogative of the communist leaders in Beijing.”

Peter Chen concludes: “These perfunctory restrictions date from the Cold War days of the seventies. The Cold War is over. And since these restrictions were self-imposed, they can also be self-lifted!”

多位美國重量級眾議員提案呼籲行政部門應對台美高層互訪(包含台灣總統)解禁

在九月15日,夏波(Rep. Steve Chabot) 以及多位眾院重量級議員(包括 Congressmen Brad Sherman and Ted Poe) 共同提出了「台灣旅行法」決議案,該法案聲明「美國政策應當促進美國與台灣之間所有層級互訪」。夏波議員是一位長期以來鼎力支持台灣的議員,同時也是美國「國會台灣連線」的共同發起人之一。

這項重要的決議案提到: 「過去幾十年來,因為美國自身法令中對於台灣高層訪美的限制,台灣與美國始終缺乏有效的溝通,顯著地阻礙了台美關係的發展。」因此,作為結論,「美國政策理應當促進美國與台灣之間所有層級的互訪。」

夏波眾議員長年以來不斷倡議美國應對台灣高層參訪解禁。他常常說起,在前總統陳水扁還是台北市長時,他尚能夠他在自己位於華府的國會辦公室接待他;但當陳水扁成為總統之後,為了與他相見,夏波及其二十幾位同仁還得大費周章地從華盛頓奔波至紐約才能與他聚上一餐。

對此,台灣人公共事務會會長陳正義強調:「台灣與美國是享有共同價值與利益的盟友。若參訪不再受限,兩個民主國家的友誼、聯繫、及互助合作的模式都將更為堅韌。」

「這項決議案的提出及提出時間點是相當有意義的。台灣的新政府已到位,現在應該是美國允許台灣的總統(及其他人)來到華府的時刻了。」陳正義如是說道。

「當中國的獨裁領袖們來到華府,走過白宮的紅毯、享受著21槍禮炮禮遇的時候,背負著台灣—美國長久以來的堅定盟友—兩千三百萬人期待的民選領袖,卻被拒絕在門外。 這裡是美國領土,能夠決定誰可以踏上這塊土地、參訪其首都的,應該只有美國自身;在北京的共產領導們,不應該有置喙的權利。」

最後,陳正義再次強調:「這些限制最早則是從70年代的冷戰時期開始的,而今,冷戰早已結束了。況且,既然這些限制是美國自己對於自己施加的,他們當然也可以被美國自我解除!」

TAIWAN TRAVEL ACT

Declaring that it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8; 22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.), enacted in 1979, has continued for 37 years to be the cornerstone of United States-Taiwan relations and has served as an anchor for peace and security in the Western Pacific region;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act declares that peace and stability in the Western Pacific area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern; the United States considers any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and are of grave concern to the United States;

Whereas Taiwan has succeeded in a momentous transition to democracy beginning in the late 1980s and has been a beacon of democratic practices in Asia, and Taiwan’s democratic achievements inspire many countries and people in the region;

Whereas through the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States treats Taiwan as a de facto sovereign, independent nation;

Whereas visits by United States cabinet officials and other high-ranking officials are an indicator of the breadth and depth of ties between the United States and its friends and Allies;

Whereas over the past decades, United States-Taiwan relations have suffered from a lack of communication due to the self-imposed restrictions that the United States maintains on high-level visits with Taiwan; and

Whereas it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels: Now, therefore, be it Resolved,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This resolution may be cited as the “Taiwan Travel Act”.

SEC. 2. Policy.

Notwithstanding the 1994 Taiwan policy review and current guidance from the Department of State pertaining to contacts with Taiwan, it should be United States policy to—

(1) allow all high-level officials of Taiwan to enter into the United States or its embassies and consulates under conditions which demonstrate appropriate respect for the dignity of such leaders;

(2) allow meetings between all high-level Taiwanese and United States officials in United States executive departments, including the Department of State and Department of Defense; and

(3) allow the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and all other instrumentalities established by Taiwan to conduct official business activities, including activities which involve participation by Members of the United States Congress and other representatives of the Federal, State, and local governments, and all high-level Taiwanese officials, without obstruction from the United States Government or any foreign power.

(September 15, 2016) U.S. Representatives Call For Lifting Of All Restrictions On High-Level Visits From Taiwan Including The President / 多位美國重量級眾議員提案呼籲行政部門應對台美高層互訪(包含台灣總統)解禁