Senate Unanimously Passes Six Assurances Legislation

For Immediate Release
Washington DC – July 7, 2016
Contact: (202) 547-3686 

Senate Unanimously Passes Six Assurances Legislation

On July 6,  S.Con.Res.38 “Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the Cornerstone of United States-Taiwan Relations” went to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote and passed unanimously.  S.Con.Res.38 was introduced on May 19 by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and James Inhofe (R-OK.)

It concludes: “That Congress (1) affirms that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are both cornerstones of United States relations with Taiwan; and (2) urges the President and the Secretary of State to affirm the Six Assurances publicly, proactively, and consistently as a cornerstone of United States–Taiwan relations.”  

A similar resolution passed the House of Representatives unanimously on May 16, 2016. The resolution first lauds the swift enactment of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) after the U.S. switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on January 1, 1979: “Whereas the United States Congress acted swiftly to reaffirm the United States–Taiwan relationship with the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8) just 100 days later, ensuring the United States maintained a robust and enduring relationship with Taiwan.”  

Three years later, when President Reagan agreed to sign the U.S.-China Third Communiqué of August 17, 1982, he was disturbed by its possible effect on Taiwan and therefore decided that Taiwan needed to be reassured that the U.S. would not abandon Taiwan.  

Enter the 1982 Six Assurances. In testimony before Congress immediately after the issuance of this U.S.-China Third Communiqué of August 17, 1982, then-Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs John H. Holdridge stated on behalf of the executive branch that—

  1. “… [w]e did not agree to set a date certain for ending arms sales to Taiwan”;
  2. “… [w]e see no mediation role for the United States” between Taiwan and the PRC;
  3. “… [n]or will we attempt to exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into negotiations with the PRC”;
  4. “… [t]here has been no change in our longstanding position on the issue of sovereignty over Taiwan”;
  5. “[w]e have no plans to seek” revisions to the Taiwan Relations Act; and
  6. the August 17 Communiqué “should not be read to imply that we have agreed to engage in prior consultations with Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan”;

FAPA President Peter Chen states: “Since the “Six Assurances” were a verbal pledge, this is the first time in history that they reached the floor of BOTH Houses of Congress in the form of legislation. This adds tremendous weight and momentum to the Six Assurances and further solidifies the US commitment to Taiwan.”

Peter Chen concludes: “It is our mission at FAPA and the dream of Taiwanese Americans to make sure that both the Taiwan Relations Act AND the Six Assurances are the first that come to mind when Capitol Hill in particular and the rest of the world in general think about U.S.-Taiwan relations. It is high time that the outdated and unrealistic “One China Policy” and the three U.S.-China Communiqués be relegated to the dustbin of history where they belong.”


在七月六日,美國參議院投票通過了第38號決議案(SCR38) 「重申台灣關係法及六項保證為美台關係的基石。」  

這項決議案是由參議員魯比歐(R-FL)與梅南德茲 (D-NJ) 在今年的五月19日聯合提案的, 並獲得布朗(D-OH), 賈德納(R-CO)和殷荷菲(R-OK)的共同聯署。這個決議案內容包括:「國會 (1)重申台灣關係法及六項保證是美台關係的基石,及 (2)要求總統及國務卿公開、主動、一貫的聲明六項保證為美台關係的基石。」  


三年後,在1982年八月17日當雷根總統答應要簽美中三公報時,他為爾後可能造成台灣的影響感到擔憂,所以決定為了不讓美國遺棄台灣,台灣也需要被美國保證。   因而有了之後1982的六項保證 在1982年八月17日發布美中三公報之後的國會聽證會上,當時負責東亞及太平洋事務的助理國務卿霍爾德里奇(John H. Holdridge) 代表行政部門表示:

  1. 美國不會設下結束對台軍售的日期;
  2. 不會做台灣與中國大陸的調解人;
  3. 美國也不會壓迫台灣和中國大陸談判;
  4. 不會改變對台灣主權的立場;
  5. 不會更動《台灣關係法》的條款;
  6. 而817公報不應該拿來暗示我們在做出對台軍售的決定之前同意與北京協商;

台灣人公共事務會會長陳正義說到: 「因為『六項保證』一直以來都是一個口頭保證,這是歷史上首度訴諸書面文字,成為美國參眾兩院的提案。這當然給六項保證添增了極大的能量,更堅固美國對台灣的承諾。」

陳正義最後表示: 「台灣人公共事務會的任務和台美人的夢想就是確保台灣關係法及六項保證是美國國會第一個想到的議題及其他國家都會想到美台關係。現在正是把『一中政策』以及美中公報丟棄,讓它們在歷史中隨風逝去的最佳時機。」  


Photo Credit: United States Government Work (Flickr)