FAPA Applauds Unanimous Passage Of Taiwan Policy Act In House Foreign Affairs Committee

On August 1, 2013 the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed HR419 aka the Taiwan Policy Act (TPA).

The TPA was introduced on January 25, 2013 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), John Carter (R-TX) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) “to strengthen and clarify the commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.”

The TPA was then passed unanimously on April 25 2013 by the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

It is a comprehensive bill that addresses over a dozen different aspects of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and updates the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) to reflect the new realities in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The TPA builds on the TRA (which has functioned effectively as the cornerstone of US-Taiwan relations over the past three decades). It does not amend or supersede the TRA.

The TPA had been introduced during the previous 112th Congress, and was subsequently passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but had not made it to the floor by the time Congress adjourned for the year in the fall of 2012.

At the hearing, Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) lauded the close U.S.-Taiwan relationship and emphasized the Free Trade Agreement provision in the bill.

Introducer of the bill, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said: “Taiwan is an important friend and ally of the United States, and should be treated as such.”

Taiwan Caucus co-chair Gerry Connolly (D-VA) emphasized that “The U.S. needs to be clear in the actions it takes in Taiwan’s defense, and make it known that the future of Taiwan needs to be resolved peacefully.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) who was a missionary in the Taiwan in the mid-seventies said that, after Israel, he considered Taiwan the strongest ally of the US and that “Taiwan is such a strong democracy that the U.S. should preserve such a strong ally.”

Asian Subcommittee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) repeated his plea that the “Chen Shui-bian issue will be resolved soon.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. says: “With the ever-expanding territorial ambitions of China, the U.S.-Taiwan alliance becomes more and more important. The TPA addresses that concern. Overall, the TPA is one of the most significant Taiwan bills over the past decades and, if enacted into law, will greatly bolster Taiwan’s ability to preserve its freedom and independence.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “The next hurdle for the bill is passage on the floor of the House to be followed by introduction in the Senate where the bill has to follow a similar path. We at FAPA will mobilize all our members all over the United States to help ensure that this critically important bill becomes law at the earliest opportunity.”

台灣人公共事務會讚許美國眾議院外交事務委員會無異議通過「台灣政策法」

美國眾議院外交事務委員會於81日無異議通過編號H.R.419的「台灣政策法」(Taiwan Policy Act, TPA)。

台灣政策法於125日由佛州共和黨眾議員羅斯雷提能(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)及眾院台灣連線四位共同主席:佛州共和黨議員迪亞茲巴拉特(Mario Diaz-Balart)、維州民主黨議員康納利(Gerald Connolly)、德州共和黨議員卡特(John Carter),以及紐澤西州民主黨議員席瑞斯(Albio Sires),共同提出。

台灣政策法於425日經眾議院亞太事務小組委員會無異議通過。

該法案包括台美關係中十幾項不同的議題,並更新1979年的「台灣關係法」(Taiwan Relations Act, TRA),使其更能反映台美關係的真實現況。台灣政策法是建基於過去三十年來台美關係的重要基石「台灣關係法」上,但並未修改,也不會凌駕於其上。

「台灣政策法」曾在第112屆美國國會中被提出,並通過外交事務委員會審查,但截至該屆國會於2012年秋天散會之前,該項法案並未送交眾院表決。

聽證會中,外交事務委員會主席、加州共和黨眾議員羅伊斯(Ed Royce)讚揚台灣與美國深厚的關係,並強調了TPA中關於自由貿易協定的部分。

TPA提案人、佛州共和黨眾議員羅斯雷提能(Illeana Ros-Lehtinen)表示:「台灣是美國重要的盟友,也應該被如是對待。」

眾院台灣連線共同主席、維州民主黨眾議員康納利(Gerry Connolly)強調:「美國必須對台灣的防禦有明確的作為,並清楚表達台灣的未來必須要和平解決。」

70年代中期,曾以傳教士身分赴台的亞歷桑納州共和黨眾議員邵建隆(Matt Salmon)表示他認為台灣是美國僅次於以色列的盟友。邵建隆並說:「台灣是一個民主國家,而美國必須要持續維護這樣一個盟友。」

亞太事務小組委員會主席,俄亥俄州共和黨眾議員夏波(Steven Chabot)則再次重申他的請求:「讓陳水扁總統的議題早日獲得解決。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「當中國區域擴張的野心日益加遽時,台美的盟友關係就更為重要,而台灣政策法非常強調台美關係。整體而言,台灣政策法是過去十年中最重要的台灣法案。若此法案通過,將更加保障台灣在國際社會的自由空間。」

高博士總結道:「下一個挑戰是要讓台灣政策法通過眾院會表決,然後送到參議院提案,並通過相似的流程。台灣人公共事務會將動員全美會員,務必確保此一重要法案盡早完成立法。」

(August 1, 2013) FAPA Applauds Unanimous Passage Of Taiwan Policy Act In House Foreign Affairs Committee / 台灣人公共事務會讚許美國眾議院外交事務委員會無異議通過「台灣政策法」