On Same Day As President Tsai Ing-Wen’s Stopover In San Francisco, U.S. Representatives Call For Lifting Of All Restrictions On High-Level Visits From Taiwan Including The President

On the very same day, that Taiwan’s democratically elected president Tsai Ing-wen stops over in San Francisco on her way home from South America, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), plus chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced the “Taiwan Travel Act” today. The binding Taiwan Travel Act legislation declares that “the United States Government should encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.” Similar legislation had been introduced in the House and the Senate in September 2016.

The bill states that Congress finds that: “Since the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, relations between the United States and Taiwan 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 that: “the United States Government should 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. Sherman is a long-time member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Also, 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 he would receive 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: “With the transit layover of Taiwan’s democratically elected president Tsai Ing-wen in San Francisco today, introduction of this binding legislation is all the more 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: “We let the unelected leaders of China come to DC whenever they want to and give them the red carpet treatment at the White House with a 21 gun salute. But 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: “We are encouraged by Senator Ted Cruz’ remarks in Houston last week who said: “The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit.”

 

蔡英文總統過境舊金山當日,美國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

今日,台灣的民選總統蔡英文在她由南美回台灣的旅途中,過境拜訪舊金山。就在同一天,數位國會重要級議員─夏波眾議員(Steve Chabot)、薛曼議員(Brad Sherman)以及外交委員會主席羅伊斯(Ed Royce) 共同提出了「台灣旅行法」。這項具有約束力的法案聲明「美國政策應當促進美國與台灣之間所有層級互訪」。類似的法案於2016年的九月在參眾兩院都曾被提案過。

這項法案提到,美國國會認為「自從台灣關係法制定後,由於美國自身對於台灣高層訪美的自我設限,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。」

夏波議員是一位資深的眾議員,也是長期以來鼎力支持台灣的議員,同時更是美國國會「台灣連線」的共同發起人之一。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:「隨著今日台灣透過民主程序選出的總統蔡英文至舊金山過境探訪,現在提出這項具有約束力的法案是相當有意義的。台灣的新政府已到位,現在應該是美國允許台灣的總統(及其他政府高層人士 )來到華府的時刻了。」

「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,陳正義說道:「上週參議員克魯茲(Ted Cruz)在休士頓與蔡英文總統會面時提到﹔『中華人民共和國需要理解,在美國,我們有自己決定應該與誰會面的權利。這與中國無關,而是與美國和台灣的關係有關,且台灣是一個我們合法支持的盟友。中國對於我們與誰碰面並沒有否決的權利。我們仍會持續與我們認為適合結盟的夥伴碰面,包含台灣。』對於克魯茲的發言,我們深受鼓勵。」

 

115th Congress

1st SESSION

HR ___

To encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Taiwan Travel Act’’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following: (1) The Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.), enacted in 1979, has continued for 37 years to be a cornerstone of relations between the United States and Taiwan and has served as an anchor for peace and security in the Western Pacific area.

(2) 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.

(3) 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 area and of grave concern to the United States.

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

(5) Visits to a country by United States cabinet members and other high-ranking officials are an indicator of the breadth and depth of ties between the United States and such country.

(6) Since the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, relations between the United States and Taiwan have suffered from insufficient high-level 24 communication due to the self-imposed restrictions that the United States maintains on high-level visits with Taiwan.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS; STATEMENT OF POLICY.  (a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the United States Government should encourage visits between officials from the United States and Taiwan at all levels.

(b) STATEMENT OF POLICY.—It should be the policy of the United States to

(1) allow officials at all levels of the United States Government, including cabinet-level national security officials, general officers, and other executive branch officials, to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts;

(2) allow high-level officials of Taiwan to enter the United States, under conditions which demonstrate appropriate respect for the dignity of such officials, and to meet with officials of the United States, including officials from the Department of State and the Department of Defense and other cabinet agencies; and

(3) [encourage/support] the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, and any other instrumentality  established by Taiwan, to conduct business in the United States, including activities which involve participation by Members of Congress, officials of Federal, State, or local governments of the United States, or any high-level official of Taiwan

(January 13, 2017) On Same Day As President Tsai Ing-Wen’s Stopover In San Francisco, U.S. Representatives Call For Lifting Of All Restrictions On High-Level Visits From Taiwan Including The President / 蔡英文總統過境舊金山當日,美國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