Sat, Oct 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

US group supports Taiwan with resolution

ORGANIZATION WITH INFLUENCE:The American Legislative Exchange Council called on Washington to take advantage of exchange opportunities without delay

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

A non-profit organization consisting of more than 2,000 US state legislators and private-sector representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution in support of the US Taiwan Travel Act, saying that it could help improve trade and strategic ties between Taipei and Washington.

The resolution was passed by the American Legislative Exchange Council. A quarter of the council’s members are comprised of US state legislators and it has widespread influence in the US, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US said in a press release on Thursday.

In the resolution, the council in March expressed its support for the implementation of the act, which it said has the potential of deepening commercial and strategic ties between Taiwan and the US.

Lauding Taiwan as a robust democracy, a significant US trading partner and a US ally, the resolution said Taipei and Washington have promoted their shared belief in freedom, democracy and free-market principles.

The two sides also enjoy a longstanding and close relationship, codified in the Taiwan Relations Act, which “has proven economically, culturally and strategically important to both,” the resolution said.

“The resolution also urges the [US] presidential administration to take advantage of the newly available exchange opportunities afforded by this policy [the Taiwan Travel Act] and to organize high-level official visits to Taiwan and to extend invitations to high-level Taiwanese officials to visit their counterparts in the US,” the council said in the document.

The resolution said this should be done without delay “to underscore the bilateral openness that this policy shift makes possible.”

Expressing its gratitude to the council, TECRO said the resolution once again demonstrated US grassroots-level state legislators’ widespread support for Taiwan and for a flourishing Taiwan-US relationship.

The enactment of the Taiwan Travel Act has been seen as a step forward for Taipei-Washington ties, as it paved the foundation for high-level official visits that have usually been avoided, due to the White House’s “unofficial relations” with Taiwan in accordance with its “one China” policy.

Despite the act’s promulgation, the US officials who have visited Taiwan since March so far are at a similar level as those who came here in the past, raising concerns of whether the act would only be symbolic.

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