Fri, Apr 20, 2012 - Page 3 News List

US representatives praise ‘strategic partnership’

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in Washington

Two members of the US Congress this week officially inserted remarks into the Congressional Record to praise the “longstanding strategic partnership” between the US and Taiwan.

Democratic representatives Shelley Berkley and Robert Andrews were both commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

In addition, Berkley said that she also wanted to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.

The representatives said they were reinforcing the fact that both the 1979 TRA and 1982’s “six assurances” formed “the cornerstone of our relationship with the people of Taiwan.”

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] persists in claiming Taiwan as a renegade province, refusing to renounce the use of force to prevent formal de jure independence,” Andrews said.

“The people of Taiwan continue to live day after day under the ominous shadow cast by over 1,400 short and medium-range ballistic missiles that the PRC has aimed at them,” he added.

He said the TRA remains a model of congressional leadership in the history of US foreign relations.

Berkley said the caucus, which now has 155 members, reflects a “broad and stable consensus in the US Congress regarding the importance of Taiwan.”

“Taiwan is well on the path to becoming a mature and fully consolidated democracy. Our shared values form an ever stronger foundation of trust for cooperation across our many areas of mutual interest,” Berkley said.

Mark Kao (高龍榮), president of the Washington-based Formosa Association of Public Affairs, said the TRA and the “six assurances” together enabled Taiwan to develop its “vibrant democracy.”

However, he said that Taiwanese-Americans were “eagerly anticipating” the adoption by Congress of the Taiwan Policy Act, which is designed to strengthen provisions of the TRA.

Passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in November last year, the Taiwan Policy Act is expected to go to a floor vote in the House next month.

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