2024-0111: U.S. Lawmakers Back Resolution Supporting Taiwan’s Democracy; U.S. House Speaker Johnson Meets Taiwan’s New Envoy

Dozens of U.S. Lawmakers Back Resolution Supporting Taiwan’s Democracy Ahead of Elections

Dozens of U.S. lawmakers co-sponsored a bipartisan House resolution (H.Res.955) commending Taiwan’s commitment to democratic elections and institutions in the face of ongoing threats from China before Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections on January 13. A companion resolution will be introduced soon in the U.S. Senate.

The House resolution was introduced on January 10 by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Ami Bera (D-CA), and Andy Barr (R-KY), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.

It is currently co-sponsored by 44 U.S. representatives, including Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The House of Representatives regards Taiwan’s democracy as “a great strategic strength for the free world” and “an indispensable component of contemporary United States-Taiwan relations,” and remains concerned about China’s interference in Taiwan’s 2024 elections, according to the resolution.

The U.S. House is committed to continuing a strong partnership with Taiwan “across diplomatic, information, military, economic, and cultural domains,” regardless of the outcome of the upcoming elections, it added.

The resolution also stated that “from 1949 until today, the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan have stood as partners against coercion, threats of war, and armed attacks from the People’s Republic of China.”

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that the United States stands in total solidarity with Taiwan and its commitment to democracy,” Congressman Connolly said in a statement.

“As Taiwan faces growing threats to its democracy and security from Communist China, this resolution reaffirms our unwavering commitment to Taiwan,” said Rep. Díaz-Balart.

“The United States remains steadfast in support of the people of Taiwan and our shared commitment to democratic values and the rule of law,” Rep. Bera said.

“Taiwan is a trusted partner for the United States and maintains the right to conduct free and fair elections,” said Congressman Barr.

A companion resolution led by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) is set to be introduced in the U.S. Senate on January 11, and has at least 36 co-sponsors.

“Today, Taiwan is considered one of the freest countries in the world. Every Taiwan election threatens the central premise of the Chinese Communist Party—that one dictator ruling in perpetuity knows what’s best for 1.4 billion people,” Sen. Sullivan said in a statement.

“Millions of Chinese on the mainland will be watching Taiwan’s upcoming election and asking the question, ‘Why can’t we do that?’” Sullivan said, adding that this is “a giant vulnerability for Xi Jinping.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Kaine stated that in light of Taiwan’s upcoming elections, “the U.S. should stand strong in support of Taiwan’s democratic institutions, and it’s important that the Taiwanese people know that they have our support.”

“This resolution sends a clear message that any interference by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 2024 elections will not be tolerated and reaffirms our [U.S.] commitment to a continuing partnership with a free and democratic Taiwan,” Kaine added.

Full text of the House resolution is available HERE.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202401110008
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/5076208

House Speaker Johnson Affirms U.S. Support for Taiwan in Meeting with Taiwan’s New Envoy

The U.S. stands with Taiwan, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) told Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Alexander Yui in their first official meeting on January 9.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Taiwanese people,” Johnson told reporters as he welcomed Yui, Taiwan’s new de facto ambassador to the U.S., before a half-hour, closed-door meeting.

It was the first meeting between the two after Yui, Taiwan’s former envoy to the European Union and deputy foreign minister, took up the post in Washington D.C. last month in December 2023.

Yui filled the vacancy left by Hsiao Bi-khim, who became the running mate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (or William Lai) in the upcoming January 2024 presidential election.

Johnson became the U.S. House speaker in late October last year in 2023 after weeks of debate in the Republican-led House.

“We certainly want to help in the defense of Taiwan, which is very important,” Johnson told reporters. “We want to deter the Chinese Communist Party and any military provocations.”

The U.S. Congress “stands with our friends, and stands for democracy and the principles you all try to advance,” he said, adding that the U.S. and Taiwan have an “important relationship and we all want to strengthen that.”

Yui thanked Johnson for his and the U.S. Congress’ longstanding bipartisan support for Taiwan, in particular for Washington’s commitments to enhancing Taiwan’s security, safeguarding its democratic system and promoting a bilateral economic partnership.

Robust Taiwan-U.S. ties are based on shared values such as freedom and democracy, and he looks forward to further strengthening “our rock-solid friendship,” Yui said.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202401100004
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2024/01/11/2003811929