A proposal by US senators to invite President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to address a joint meeting of the US Congress would be a “huge mistake,” former US deputy assistant secretary of state Susan Shirk said on Tuesday.
Shirk, a research professor and chair at the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, said that the proposal would be wrong, as was a visit by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to his alma mater Cornell University in 1995.
“I don’t support it. I think that was a mistake then and that it would be a mistake now,” Shirk said after a news conference held by the Asia Society, a New York-headquartered think tank that tackles major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific region.
Based on unofficial US-Taiwan relations, the US allows senior Taiwanese officials to transit through the US, but visits are not allowed, Shirk said.
Asked whether she is concerned about an unexpected move by US President Donald Trump, such as inviting Tsai to the US, Shirk said it would be highly irresponsible for Trump to use Taiwan as leverage in his dealings with China.
Trump is “quite ignorant of the history and what it takes to maintain stability on this very sensitive issue,” she said.
US Senator Cory Gardner, one of the lawmakers behind the proposal, on Tuesday met with a delegation led by former Chinese ambassador to the US Zhou Wenzhong (周文重).
Gardener said in a statement following the meeting that he told the delegation that Beijing’s hostile actions toward Taipei are counterproductive, and the US Congress would continue to advocate on behalf of Taiwan and Taiwanese as guided by US law, including the Taiwan Relations Act, the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act.
His proposal to invite Tsai is consistent with US law, Gardner said, adding that he hopes an invitation will be issued soon.
Gardner and US senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz on Friday last week sent a joint letter to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to invite Tsai to address a joint session of the US Congress.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) expressed gratitude for the letter, but said Tsai has no plans to visit Washington.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up