Sun, Oct 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Office thanks US lawmakers for support

REMINDER:The four Congressional Taiwan Caucus cochairs urged Trump in a letter to consult with Congress before his Asia visit, ‘especially on issues related to Taiwan’

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s representative office in Washington yesterday expressed its gratitude to four US representatives who wrote a letter to US President Donald Trump stressing the importance of Taiwan-US ties ahead of Trump’s visit to Asia scheduled for next week.

The signatories are the cochairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, including Democratic representatives Gerald Connolly and Albio Sires, and Republican representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Gregg Harper, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US said in a press release.

In the letter dated on Thursday, the representatives said that Taiwan is a significant economic and security partner of the US and is one of its closet allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The United States and Taiwan established an enduring partnership through the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 and the deliverance of the Six Assurances in 1982. Adhering to these commitments is in the vital US national security interest,” the letter said.

If Trump follows in the steps of his predecessors and upholds those commitments, it will demonstrate the continuity of US policy toward Taiwan and assert the US’ position on an issue that is critical to Washington’s economic and security interests, it said.

The “six assurances,” issued by former US president Ronald Reagan, include that the US will not set a date for termination of arms sales to Taiwan and that it will not consult with the People’s Republic of China before making decisions about such arms sales.

They also include pledges not to alter the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, mediate between Taiwan and China, alter the US’ position that Taiwan’s sovereignty should be decided peacefully by both sides, or pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

The relationship between Washington and Taipei has continued to develop thanks to their shared values and commitment to democracy and the rule of law, the letter said, adding that the ties have also been strengthened by security cooperation and increasing trade, education and cultural exchanges.

“As you prepare for your visit, we urge you and your administration to consult with the Congress, especially on issues related to Taiwan,” it said, wishing Trump success in his upcoming visit to China.

Trump is scheduled to visit five Asian nations from Friday to Nov. 14 — Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US said it appreciated the US Congress’ consistent support and friendship toward Taiwan.

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