Sun, Jun 16, 2013 - Page 1 News List

US House approves pro-Taiwan arms, diplomacy proposals

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in Washington

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed two new measures supporting Taiwan.

One of the measures was an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act proposed by Virginia Representative Gerry Connolly, which calls on US President Barack Obama to sell no fewer than 66 F-16C/D multirole aircraft to Taiwan.

While the amendment has no real power and must still be considered by the US Senate, it serves to pressure the White House and keep the F-16 issue on the agenda.

The second measure is a resolution proposed by Michigan Representative Kerry Bentivolio expressing the “sense of Congress” that the US should allow all high-level officials from Taiwan to enter the US or its embassies and consulates under conditions which “demonstrate appropriate respect for the dignity of such leaders.”

It also calls for all high-level Taiwanese officials to be able to meet with US officials in government offices including the US Department State and the Pentagon.

It further advocates allowing high-ranking Taiwanese leaders to pay official visits to high-level US officials to discuss important issues and make first-hand assessments of policy.

The resolution has no legislative power, but serves to pressure the Obama administration to take action.

Under the current complex regulations governing official US-Taiwan interaction, instituted after the US formally granted diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China, US and Taiwan officials can only meet under strictly controlled conditions.

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