Wed, Dec 19, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Ministry thanks US House for passing reassurance act

SIGN OF COMMITMENT:The acts resolves to ‘develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region’

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

US Senator Cory Gardner listens during a US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on July 25.

Photo: AFP

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed gratitude to the US House of Representatives for passing the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which includes a section detailing the US’ commitments to Taiwan.

The legislation, which aims to “develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region,” cleared the floor of the House on Wednesday last week, after being passed by the US Senate on Dec. 4.

It was in April introduced by US Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, and cosponsored by senators Ed Markey, Marco Rubio, Ben Cardin and Todd Young.

Under Section 209 of the bill, the US reiterated its commitment to support close economic, political and security ties between Taiwan and the US, and to “faithfully enforce” all existing US commitments to Taiwan in line with the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques and the “six assurances” agreed to by then-US president Ronald Reagan in 1982.

The bill says the policy of the US is to “counter efforts to change the status quo and to support peaceful resolution acceptable to both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” urging the US president to conduct regular transfers of defense articles to Taiwan that are tailored to meet existing and likely future threats from the People’s Republic of China.

It also says that the US president should encourage visits by high-level US officials to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act.

The bill still has to be sent to US President Donald Trump for review. He can sign the bill into law, veto it, which would put it back in the hands of the House, or do nothing.

If he does nothing, known as a pocket veto, the bill would become law 10 days after it is sent to the president if the Congress is in session for the full 10 days.

Unanimous passage of the act by Congress, coming just months after the Taiwan Travel Act’s promulgation in March, “fully demonstrates their bipartisan support for closer Taiwan-US relations and regional peace and stability,” the ministry said in a news release yesterday.

“The ministry extends our sincere gratitude to the US Congress for demonstrating its firm support for Taiwan through concrete actions,” the ministry said, adding that it would continue to work with various US government agencies to deepen the Taiwan-US partnership.

Additional reporting by CNA

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