◼︎ Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act (H.R.3634)
The bipartisan bill will adjust two elements of U.S. policy towards Taiwan to lend more dignity and respect to the 23 million people of U.S. long-time ally Taiwan.
TECRO Name Change to “Taiwan Representative Office”: The current name of Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), does not reflect Taiwan’s independent sovereignty and national identity. It is longstanding U.S. policy to refer to Taiwan as “Taiwan.” We therefore have the “Taiwan Relations Act,” “Taiwan Travel Act,” etc., and an “American Institute in Taiwan” (AIT).
Senate Confirmation of the AIT Director: The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director, the U.S. de facto Ambassador to Taiwan, is appointed by the Secretary of State without checks and balances by Congress. Taiwanese Americans would like to see the AIT Director confirmed by the Senate. Currently, the AIT is the only one of three wholly U.S. government-funded “non-government” organizations whose directors are not subject to Senate confirmation. The appointments of chiefs of the other two, the “Millennium Challenge Corporation” and the “National Endowment for Democracy,” both require Senate advice and consent.
◼︎ USTR to Enter into FTA Negotiations with Taiwan
Taiwan is our 10th largest goods trading partner with $85.5 billion in total (two-way) goods trade during 2019. Goods exports totaled $31.3 billion; goods imports totaled $54.3 billion. As a result, Taiwan is an important source of job creation for the United States. In addition, Taiwan passed legislation that allows U.S. pork with ractopamine residue to be imported last December, which was a long time precondition for USTR to enter into FTA negotiations with Taiwan.
◼︎ Strategic Clarity over Strategic Ambiguity
The United States is required by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which together with the 1982 Six Assurances forms the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations, to provide Taiwan with arms to defend itself. However, we have long followed a policy of “Strategic Ambiguity” on whether we would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in an event of Chinese attack. We have seen daily incursions of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) by Chinese warplanes the past months. The time is now to replace this “Strategic Ambiguity” with “Strategic Clarity.” We need to state clearly that we will defend Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. There should be zero doubt, for Beijing and the rest of the World, about the U.S. commitment to keeping democratic Taiwan free.
◼︎ House Taiwan Caucus
Established in 2002, the bipartisan Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC), with more than 120 members, is the second-largest country caucus in the House.