U.S. Senators Call For Lifting Of All Restrictions On High-Level Visits From Taiwan Including The President
Today, May 4, 2017, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Taiwan Travel Act, legislation that encourages visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials at all levels.
The “Taiwan Travel Act” is binding legislation that concludes that “the United States Government should encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.” Earlier, on January 13, 2017, i.e. the very same day that Taiwan’s democratically elected president Tsai Ing-wen stopped over in San Francisco on her way home from South America, Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brad Sherman (D-CA), plus House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced the “Taiwan Travel Act” in the House of Representatives.
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.”
Former Republican candidate for president Rubio is a long-time Taiwan supporter and member of the Senate Taiwan Caucus. The Senator introduced and passed a resolution in the spring of 2016, affirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations. When Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen transited through Miami on her way to Panama in June 2016, Senator Rubio came to meet with President Tsai in her Miami hotel.
FAPA President Peter Chen states: “While the bill is before Congress, the current administration sending a U.S. cabinet member to Taiwan would clearly demonstrate the closeness of the long-time excellent and very strong U.S.-Taiwan relationship.”
Mr. Chen adds: “This is an important signal from the Senate that the present approach regarding bilateral contacts and communication between the U.S. and Taiwan is outdated, and not conducive to peace and stability in the region. If the US seeks to enhance democracy in the region, it needs to be more supportive to countries that achieved democracy.”
今日，2017年5月4日，美國參議員魯比奧(Marco Rubio， R-FL) ，參議員布朗(Sherrod Brown， D-OH)，參議員殷荷菲(Jim Inhofe，R-OK)，參議員梅南德茲(Bob Menendez，D-NJ)，參議員賈德納(Cory Gardner，R-CO)，與參議員彼德斯(Gary Peters，D-MI)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」。在今年的一月十三日，台灣民選總統由南美回台過境舊金山拜訪的同一日，夏波眾議員(Steve Chabot)、薛曼眾議員(Brad Sherman)以及外交委員會主席羅伊斯(Ed Royce) 也在眾議院中提出了該項法案。
115TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION
To encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
A BILL 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 makes the following findings:
(1) The Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.), enacted in 1979, has continued for 37 years to be the 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 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 democratic practices 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 that country.
(6) 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.
SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS; STATEMENT OF POLICY. (a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the United States Government must not place any restrictions on the travel of officials at any level of the United States Government to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts or on the travel of high-level officials of Taiwan to enter the United States to meet with officials of the United States.
(b) STATEMENT OF POLICY.—It should be the policy of the United States— (1) to 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) to 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) to permit the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, and any other instrumentality established by Taiwan, to conduct business in the United States, including activities that involve participation by Members of Congress, officials of Federal, State, or local governments of the United States, or any high-level official of Taiwan.
SEC. 4. AUTHORITY. Officials at all levels of the United States Government, including cabinet-level national security officials, general officers, and other Executive Branch officials, are hereby authorized to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts.
SEC. 5. SEMIANNUAL REPORTS. Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on travel by Department of State officials to Taiwan.