2023-0518: Taiwan International Solidarity Act Clears House Committee; Former U.K. PM Truss Urges Forming “Economic NATO”

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Taiwan International Solidarity Act

On May 16, the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Taiwan International Solidarity Act” (H.R.1176), which aims to counter China’s attempts to distort United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758 and undermine Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

The bill calls on the United States, as a member of any international organizations, to “oppose any attempts by the People’s Republic of China to resolve Taiwan’s status by distorting the decisions, language, policies, or procedures of the organization.”

The bill says that UNGA Resolution 2758 only dealt with the issue of China’s representation in the UN.

“The resolution did not address the issue of representation of Taiwan and its people in the United Nations or any related organizations, nor did the resolution take a position on the relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan or include any statement pertaining to Taiwan’s sovereignty,” the bill emphasizes.

The bill also underscores that “the United States opposes any initiative that seeks to change Taiwan’s status without the consent of the people.”

Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) said that this bill is “in favor of freedom and independence for Taiwan” and added that “23 million people deserve to have their independence.” 

Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the committee’s Ranking Member, were among congressional leaders who publicly expressed their strong support for the bill, stating that Taiwan’s exclusion from the UN system is detrimental to the international community.

McCaul criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for claiming UNGA Resolution 2758 prohibits Taiwan from having a voice at the UN, when, in fact, the resolution only designates the government of the People’s Republic of China as having China’s seat at the organization.

McCaul said the act would direct the U.S. to use its influence to resist CCP propaganda in international organizations and promote Taiwan’s international participation.

Meeks said the bill would strengthen the TAIPEI Act, counter China’s attempts to undermine Taiwan’s participation on the world stage, bolster U.S. ties with Taiwan, and support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.

[1] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4894550
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/05/18/2003800004

Former U.K. PM Truss Urges Forming “Economic NATO” to Counter China’s Coercion

On May 17, visiting former U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss called on the free world to establish an “economic NATO” to coordinate against China’s economic coercion, and safeguard freedom and democracy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Truss made the remarks during a speech in Taipei. As “a huge admirer of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people,” she is visiting the nation to raise awareness of Taiwan’s situation and to learn more about how the U.K. can engage with and help it, she said.

During her speech, Truss underlined several times the importance of establishing “an economic NATO” dedicated to the Indo-Pacific region.

Such a grouping would help democratic allies agree on the best approach toward China and to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself, she said.

It would also serve as an alternative to the WTO or the UN Security Council, which has become an unreliable body, as it was recently chaired by Russia, she said.

The G7 group, EU countries and other allies, which make up more than 50 percent of the global economy, should urgently take serious action, such as sanctions and bans on tech exports, to deal with Chinese economic coercion, as the opportunity to do so might not exist in a few years, Truss said.

She called for fast tracking Taiwan’s accession to the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership” (CPTPP), as that would boost trade with Taiwan, and be a “stepping stone to uphold freedom.”

China must be prevented from joining the trade bloc, she added.

Taiwan is “powering the modern economy” with its semiconductors and shipping routes vital for global commerce, Truss said.

Taiwan is a thriving democracy and “a direct challenge to everything the Chinese Communist Party stands for,” she said, calling on free nations to promote security cooperation with Taiwan and “commit themselves to a free Taiwan and be prepared to back it up with concrete measures.”

Instead of turning a blind eye to China’s threats to freedom and democracy, the free world should end the ambiguity in its stance toward China and take concrete actions to reduce its economic reliance on Beijing, she added.

“Your [Taiwan’s] future is our future,” she said, expressing British solidarity with Taiwan and vowing to continue to support the nation.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/05/18/2003800001