Taiwan Bills in the Congress
If passed, the Taiwan Fellowship Act will allow 10 U.S. federal government employees each year to
- Work with their Taiwanese counterparts that most relevant to their home agencies.
- Receive one year of intensive Mandarin language training.
As US-Taiwan high-level exchanges are rather limited, we consider the working-level exchanges is extremely conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
If this legislation becomes law, Taiwan would be only the second country in the world to enjoy such a cooperative partnership program with the United States. Therefore, we feel that this bill is very much complementary to the Taiwan Travel Act which FAPA successfully promoted.
While aiming to boost the U.S. capability to counter China’s growing aggression on the international stage, the S.1169 also has several pro-Taiwan provisions:
- Recognizes Taiwan as “a vital part of the United States Indo-Pacific strategy.”
- Calls to reinforce commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances, including helping Taiwan execute asymmetric defense strategy and conducting regular arms sales to Taiwan.
- Require the State Department and other government agencies to engage with the government of Taiwan as the U.S. Government does with other foreign governments.
Several amendments also made it into the bill, including:
- Taiwan Fellowship Act: Create a civil servant training and cooperation initiative between Taiwan and the U.S.
- Reassurance for Official Contacts Act: Allow Taiwanese diplomats and service members to display their flag and wear their uniforms while on official business in the United States.
To amend the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019 to provide that the United States, as a member of any international organizations, should 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, and for other purposes.
- Create an Interagency Taiwan Policy Task Force;
- Require Senate confirmation for the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan;
- Establish the US-Taiwan Cultural Exchange Foundation;
- Include Taiwan in bilateral and multilateral military training exercises;
- Develop strategies to counter CCP’s sharp power against Taiwan;
- Negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan.
- Sponsor: Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX] (Introduced 03/24/2021)
- Cosponsors: (9) [R: 9]
Original cosponsors: Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
- Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations
- Latest Action: Senate – 03/24/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. (All Actions)
The support for defense cooperation with Taiwan is critical to the national security of the United States, the bill, if enacted into law, would include Taiwan into the so-called “NATO Plus” group, which currently includes Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, and New Zealand.
The members of “NATO Plus” group are drawn from the 17 countries that have been designated under U.S. law as “major non-NATO allies” (MNNA), which are eligible for a range of defense-related privileges with the United States. Taiwan has been treated as a major non-NATO ally under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY 2003 (Pub. L. 107–228), although it is not formally designated as such.
The Taiwan PLUS Act would improve Taiwan’s military capabilities against China and treat Taiwan as a country in all relevant laws and regulations for a five-year period. Every five years, the Secretary of State would have the authority to extend the measure if it is found to serve the U.S. national security interest.
If passed, the bill will request the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization.
The systematic shunning by the WHO of Taiwan is unconscionable because:
- It compromises the health of Taiwan’s 23 million people
- It denies the world the benefits of Taiwan’s abundant public health and technical resources.
- Sponsor: Rep. Tiffany, Thomas P. [R-WI-7] (Introduced 02/26/2021)
- Cosponsors: (1) [R: 1]
Rep. Perry, Scott [R-PA-10]*
- Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Ways and Means
- Latest Action: House – 02/26/2021 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (All Actions)
- Status: Introduced
Reschenthaler, Guy [R-PA-14]
- Cosponsors: (7) [R: 7]
- Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Armed Services; Ways and Means
- Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of… (All Actions)
- Status: Introduced
The Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act seeks to reverse U.S. long-held strategic ambiguity towards the defense to Taiwan. This Act also proposes several concrete policy initiatives that are critical to bilateral defense cooperation.
Perry, Scott [R-PA-10]
- Cosponsors: (0)
- Committees: House – Foreign Affairs
- Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. (All Actions)
- Status: Introduced
This bill directs the United States to withhold all contributions to the United Nations (UN) until (1) China’s World Health Organization membership is terminated, and (2) Taiwan is granted full membership in the UN.
This bill prohibits the use of federal funds to seek U.S. membership in the World Health Organization (WHO), or to make contributions to the WHO, until the President makes certain certifications to Congress.
Specifically, the prohibition shall apply until the President certifies that the WHO (1) has adopted reforms to ensure that humanitarian assistance is not politicized; (2) is not under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and is not involved in a cover-up of the CCP’s response to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic; (3) has granted observer status to Taiwan; (4) does not divert humanitarian or medical supplies to Iran, North Korea, or Syria; and (5) has put in place mechanisms to increase transparency and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.