Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - Page 3 News List

US lawmakers reaffirm support for Taiwan in video

Staff writer, with CNA

A number of prominent US lawmakers from across the political divide have appeared in a congratulatory video commemorating the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

The TRA was enacted in 1979 after Washington severed ties with Taipei, with the aim of defining future unofficial relations between the US and Taiwan.

In the video, the lawmakers say that the US would support Taiwan’s defensive capability to resist an invasion by China, while stressing that Taiwan cannot be a bargaining chip.

“It’s not enough to simply mark this milestone. We need to reaffirm our commitment to the ‘six assurances’ and increase our engagement with Taiwan,” US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation Chairman Brad Sherman says in the video. “Taiwan should not be a bargaining chip.”

A leading supporter of the Taiwan Travel Act, Sherman expressed his pleasure in hosting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during her brief stopover in Los Angeles last year, saying that he believes more leaders from both sides should visit each other.

Efforts should be made to ensure the full implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act and use it as a basis for building deeper ties, he says in the video.

The Taiwan Travel Act, which was last year signed into law by US President Donald Trump, lifts restrictions on high-level visits to and from Taiwan. It is aimed at promoting exchanges between high-level US and Taiwanese officials.

US Representative Ted Yoho says in the video that he looks forward to the day that Taiwan is recognized as an independent nation, while US Representative Gerald Connolly says that the TRA sent a message to “those who might have wanted to do damage to Taiwan” that the US would be there “to provide defense for Taiwan.”

A total of 10 US lawmakers appear in the video clip, including US Senate Committee on Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe and US Senator Robert Menendez, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

“As cochair of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, I am incredibly proud to wish the TRA a very happy anniversary,” Inhofe says in the video, adding that Taiwan would always be an important partner of the US in the region.

“China has never been more aggressive and Taiwan stands as our ally against that aggression and oppression. I want to let you know that you have a friend in Congress,” says Representative Michael McCaul, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The video was first shown at an event on Thursday last week hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US and posted on social media.

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