Thu, May 21, 2009 - Page 1 News List

US congressman call for overhaul of Taiwan policy

NAVAL VISITS Republican Representative Ed Royce told a conference at George Washington University that engagement with Taiwan is very important

By William Lowther  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

“In terms of international organizations, the US should push for efforts to get Taiwan membership — full membership — in the World Health Organization. This week [participation in the World Health Assembly] marks a big step, but we shouldn’t be complacent. Why not welcome Taiwan to join other UN organizations? That’s the role we should take now,” he said.

“We should send a Cabinet member on a visit to Taipei. Disappointingly, no Bush Cabinet members visited Taiwan,” he said.

“In terms of a free trade agreement, one of the concerns in the past was intellectual property rights. But there has been tremendous advances in Taiwan on that issue. Taiwan’s entry into the WTO provides a framework for a FTA so let’s put together a roadmap for this shared goal,” he said.

“Port visits. I think that allowing US naval port visits to Taiwan is in order. China denied a port call for a US naval ship to Hong Kong. A ship that was in distress. We should let Beijing know that we have somewhere else to go,” he said.

“Similarly, the PRC has not joined the Proliferation Security Initiative. Why not enlist Taiwan’s help in stopping the proliferation of missile and nuclear technology that we are concerned about coming out of North Korea?” he said.

“If we want cross-strait detente to succeed, President Ma must deal from a position of strength. The US should be prepared to proceed with appropriate arms sales to Taiwan. The arms sales incentivize China to pursue political, not military, means to reconcile its differences with Taiwan,” Royce said.

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