Taiwan High-level Visits Resolution Introduced In The Senate
On Tuesday, October 2nd 2007, the two co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution SCR-48, calling on the Bush Administration to allow high level visits and contacts between the United States and the democratically-elected officials of Taiwan.
The resolution is the Senate equivalent of House Resolution HCR-136, which passed the House by a unanimous vote on July 30th 2007. It argues that the present guidelines for contacts with Taiwan are outdated, because Taiwan has since then gone through a momentous transition to democracy.
The present DPP government represents a democratic Taiwan, as opposed to the old Kuomintang regime, which maintained until 1991 that it represented China. This new situation on the ground calls for a new and fresh approach, which supports democracy in the region.
The resolution states that lifting these restrictions will help bring a friend and ally of the United States out of its isolation, which will be beneficial to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
It also states that — in consideration of the major economic, security, and political interests shared by the United States and Taiwan — it is to the benefit of the United States for United States officials to meet and communicate directly with the democratically-elected officials of Taiwan, including the President of Taiwan.
The resolution also argues that — since the Taiwan Strait is one of the world’s flashpoints in the world — it is essential that United States policymakers directly communicate with the leaders of Taiwan.
FAPA President C.T. Lee commented on the introduction: “This is an important signal from the Senate that the present approach regarding bilateral contacts and communication is outdated, and not conducive to peace and stability in the region. If the US wants to enhance democracy in the region, it needs to be more supportive to countries that achieved democracy. It is peculiar that the Bush Administration urges China to talk directly to the elected government in Taiwan, but itself still clings to guidelines dating back to the 1970s.”