SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES TAIWAN TRAVEL ACT

Today, on February 7, 2018, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the Taiwan Travel Act (TTA – HR535) clearing the way for the bill to go to the floor of the Senate for a vote. (The Senate Foreign Relations Committee decided to pass the House version of the TTA today, making it not necessary for the bill to go back to the House for a vote after future Senate floor passage, but directly to the president for a signature.)
The binding Taiwan Travel Act legislation 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.”
The TTA was introduced in the Senate on May 4, 2017 as S1051 by 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.) At SFRC passage it enjoyed the further co-sponsorship of Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR.)
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) had introduced the Taiwan Travel Act in the House on January 13, 2017. When it passed the floor of the House of Representatives unanimously on January 8, 2018, the bill enjoyed the co-sponsorship of 81 members of Congress.
FAPA President Peter Chen states: “This is a great day for Taiwanese Americans and for the people of Taiwan. To become law, the bill needs to go to the floor of the Senate for a vote and then to the president for a signature. We are especially grateful to Senator Rubio for leading the charge in the Senate on this very important issue, and to the Senators that co-introduced the bill.”
Peter Chen adds: “Why do we honor the unelected leaders of Beijing by welcoming them to the White House and presenting them with a 21 gun salute, why we forbid the democratically elected leaders of Taiwan to even come within the boundaries of the District of Columbia?”
Peter Chen concludes: “The U.S. self-imposed restrictions on high-level visits from Taiwan must be abolished. After all, 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. After all, the United States and Taiwan are allies that share common values, and the removal of restrictions will promote greater cooperation between the two nations and enhance mutual economic, political, and security interests.”

 


參議院外交關係委員會無異議通過台灣旅行法

 

2018年2月7日,美國參議院外交關係委員會無異議通過「台灣旅行法」(HR535),下一階段將提交到參院全院進行表決。 (因參議院外交關係委員會今日通過眾院版本的台灣旅行法,該法案在未來送至參院全院表決後便不需要再回到眾議院表決,而可以直接交予總統簽署立法。)

「台灣旅行法」是具有國會約束力的法案,它明確指出美國國會認為「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。」

2017年的5月4日,台灣旅行法在參議院由參議員魯比奧(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。在通過外交委員會前,參議員克魯茲(Ted Cruz,R-TX)與懷登(Ron Wyden ,D-OR)也共同連署支持此項法案。

眾議院版本的台灣旅行法由眾議員夏波(Steve Chabot,R-OH)、薛爾曼(Brad Sherman,D-CA),和外交委員會主席羅伊斯議員(Ed Royce,R-CA)共同提出。該法案在今年1月8日在眾院無異議通過時,享有81位眾議員的連署支持。

FAPA會長陳正義表示:「今天,對所有的台美人和台灣人民來說,是一個美好的一天。台灣旅行法在送交白宮給總統簽名成為正式法律之前,需要經過參議院這一關進行表決。我們特別感謝魯比奧參議員在參院領銜,會同其他聯署參議員,共同提出這個重要的法案。

陳正義說道:「為何我們隆重歡迎中國的獨裁領袖們,還在白宮用紅毯禮遇及21響禮炮歡迎,卻阻擋台灣的民選總統踏進華盛頓特區的邊界?」

「美國對於和台灣高層互訪的自我設限需要被拔除。畢竟,這裡是美國領土,只有美國有權力來決定誰可以訪問華府,這件事不應容許北京的共產領袖置喙。畢竟,美國與台灣是享有共同價值的盟友,去除高層互訪的限制可以促進兩個國家在經濟、政治、區域安全等層面進一步的合作。」陳正義以此作結。

 

(February 7, 2018) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Unanimously Passes Taiwan Travel Act / 參議院外交關係委員會無異議通過台灣旅行法
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