Sun, Mar 02, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Proposed US bill reaffirms TRA

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Legislation that reaffirms the US’ commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act — passed 35 years ago — has been introduced to the US Congress.

While largely symbolic, the bill — which experts say is expected to pass — signals a continuing strong relationship between Taiwan and the US and could be interpreted as a warning to potential aggressors.

The bill was sponsored by US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, an active member of the Taiwan Caucus.

It aims to reaffirm support for Taiwan’s democratic institutions, peace in the Taiwan Strait and deepening Taiwan-US trade and security relations.

“Fair elections, personal liberty and free enterprise are the shared values that cement the strong US-Taiwan relationship,” said California Republican Royce, who recently visited the nation.

“As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, I am pleased to introduce this important legislation,” Royce said.

“I am committed to continue strengthening ties with our close friend,” Royce added.

The bill emphasizes that it is the policy of the US to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character to maintain the nation’s capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize its security or social and economic systems.

It points out the leadership role Taiwan has demonstrated in addressing transnational and global challenges, including its active engagement in humanitarian relief measures, public health endeavors, environmental protection initiatives and financial market stabilization efforts.

The bill states that the US reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the act “as the cornerstone of relations between the US and Taiwan.”

It supports the US’ commitment to Taiwan’s security, including the sale of “sophisticated defensive weapons.”

In addition, the bill reaffirms US commitment to deepening trade and investment relations as well as support for Taiwan’s inclusion in bilateral and regional trade agreements.

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