0108: Amb. Craft’s Taiwan Visit, Taiwan Assurance Act

U.S. Ambassador to UN to Visit Taiwan Next Week

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan Jan. 13-15 for meetings with senior Taiwanese counterparts and members of the diplomatic community, her office announced on Thursday (Jan. 7). [1]

“During her trip, the ambassador will reinforce the U.S. government’s strong and ongoing support for Taiwan’s international space,” a media note issued by the U.S. Mission to the UN said. It added that Craft is scheduled to deliver remarks on Jan. 14 on Taiwan’s “impressive contributions to the global community and the importance of Taiwan’s meaningful and expanded participation in international organizations.”

Craft is known as a strong supporter of Taiwan and has expressed support for the Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN system, stating in an address in Sept. 2020 that it was “cheating the world” not to have Taiwan participating in the UN activities. [2] Moreover, after her “historic” lunch with Taiwan’s top envoy to New York on Sept. 16, 2020, Craft told that the U.S. and Taiwan share the goal of promoting democracy, and that she was looking forward to meeting President Tsai Ing-wen one day. [3]

A spokesman for Taiwan’s Presidential Office said this Friday that Taiwan “sincerely welcomes” Ambassador Craft’s upcoming visit to Taiwan. Her trip will mark the first official visit to Taiwan by an incumbent U.S. Ambassador to the UN, representing the increasing implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act, a U.S. legislation passed in 2018 that allows high-level visits between the two countries. Craft’s trip is a “symbol of the solid friendship between Taiwan and the U.S, and will positively help and deepen the U.S.-Taiwan partnership,” the spokesman added. [4]

Congress Passes and Trump Signs Taiwan Assurance Act in $2.3 Trillion Appropriations Bill

The Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020, included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec 27, 2020, calls for regular U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the U.S. supports for Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations, and a review of the State Department’s guidance regarding relations with Taiwan.
Seeing Taiwan as a vital part of the U.S. “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” the Taiwan Assurance Act states that the U.S. “should conduct regular sales and transfers of defense articles to Taiwan in order to enhance its self-defense capabilities, particularly its efforts to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities, including undersea warfare and air defense capabilities, into its military forces.”
The act also advocates Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in international bodies, such as the United Nations, the World Health Assembly, and the International Civil Aviation Organization, while supporting Taiwan’s “membership” in the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and other international organizations “for which statehood is not a requirement for membership.”
It requires that not later than 180 days after the enactment of this act, the Secretary of State shall review the Department of State’s guidance on relations with Taiwan, submit a report to Congress on the results of this review as well as the implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act, and reissue such guidance to executive branch departments and agencies.
The $2.3 trillion spending package also includes $3 million in funds for the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which holds activities to help Taiwan, the U.S., and Japan further expand the scope of professional cooperation and exchanges with like-minded countries.
FAPA thanks the friends in Congress from both parties to pass the Taiwan Assurance Act and provide funding for the GCTF that deepens the US-Taiwan relations and demonstrates the strong U.S. supports and commitment to Taiwan.

Sources: Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times