Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Pompeo, US lawmakers voice support

ALLIES:One senator said Taiwan has more bipartisan backing than any other place in the world, while another said that it should be a partner in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy

Staff writer, with CNA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and three members of the US Congress voiced support for Taiwan on Wednesday, the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

At a congressional hearing on the US Department of State’s budget, Pompeo said that he plans to fully adhere to the TRA, which was signed into law on April 10, 1979, as well as the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which were both passed last year, to strengthen the US’ partnership with Taiwan.

“We have a lot going on with AIT [the American Institute in Taiwan] with our senators there,” Pompeo said, when asked if high-level US officials would visit Taiwan in the near future to demonstrate the US’ commitment to Taiwan.

US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy Chairman Cory Gardner said at the hearing that the TRA, the “six assurances” issued in 1982 by then-US president Ronald Reagan, the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act have become cornerstones of US relations with Taiwan.

The Colorado Republican said in an interview after the hearing that he believes Taiwan “has more bipartisan support than probably any country right now, any other place around the world.”

“I think it’s incredibly important that we continue to support the Taiwan Relations Act, today being the 40th anniversary, and we have a resolution in Congress to celebrate that recognition,” he said.

Following in the footsteps of the US House of Representatives, a group of US senators on Thursday last week introduced a concurrent resolution reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan to mark the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the TRA.

Echoing Gardner, Senator Benjamin Cardin said that the US has made it clear that “we protect the rights of the Taiwanese people.”

“We raised that to the highest levels, so I think we have been straightforward and transparent about our concerns for the security of Taiwan,” Cardin said.

Asked what kind of role he would like to see Taiwan play in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, the two-term Maryland Democrat said that “Taiwan should be a partner.”

In an article titled “Four Decades of the Taiwan Relations Act Remains a Monument to our Resolve to Uphold Democracy” on US political Web site The Hill, US Representative Steve Chabot said that it is essential that the US continue to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Taiwan.

Chabot said that US support for Taiwan is becoming increasingly urgent, adding that “while the Communist Party of China has always sought to impose its view that Taiwan is a renegade province on the rest of the world, [Chinese] President Xi Jinping [習近平] is now taking a more aggressive stance.”

“If we are too scared of what President Xi might say, or of what Beijing might do, all our rhetoric about a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ is nothing more than hot air, and China has already won,” the long-time supporter of Taiwan wrote.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the TRA’s enactment, former House speaker Paul Ryan is to lead a delegation to Taiwan to attend a series of celebrations, the AIT said.

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