Sun, Sep 22, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Diplomatic Losses: US to review TAIPEI ‘consequences’ bill

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A draft US act, the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI), which is to “impose consequence on nations downgrading ties with Taiwan,” will be reviewed at a US Senate committee next week, US Senator Cory Gardner’s office wrote on Twitter yesterday.

The TAIPEI bill would require a US strategy to engage with governments around the world to support Taiwan’s diplomatic recognition and bolster unofficial ties with Taiwan, while authorizing the US Department of State to downgrade relations with governments that take adverse actions with regard to Taiwan.

Gardner and other senators in May reintroduced the bill after Taiwan was denied participation at the 72nd World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decisionmaking body, in Geneva, Switzerland.

With Taiwan losing two allies in a week after Kiribati followed the Solomon Islands’ step to cut ties with Taipei, Gardner reiterated his call for the proposed legislation.

“Next week @SenateForeign will mark up @SenCoryGardner’s TAIPEI Act which would set US policy & impose consequences on nations downgrading ties with Taiwan,” was posted to a Twitter account named “Asia Reassurance,” which is run by Gardner’s office.

US Senator Tom Cotton urged the Senate to pass a draft Taiwan Assurance Act, saying the bill affirms that China’s efforts to exclude Taiwan from the international community are a national security concern for Washington.

US Senator Bob Menendez tweeted that “China’s predatory campaign to isolate #Taiwan from the rest of the international community is seriously alarming and unacceptable,” adding that “Taiwan is, and always will be, one of our most important partners in the region.”

“Unless this behavior is confronted, Beijing will stop at nothing to isolate Taiwan internationally,” US Senator Marco Rubio tweeted. “We must continue to stand for democracy.”

US senators Ted Yoho, Mike Quigley and Rick Scott also urged the US government to provide Taipei with more support to frustrate Chinese expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region, which they said also poses a threat to US national security.

The US State Department expressed disappointment over Kiribati’s diplomatic switch, but added: “Our commitment to the Pacific is enduring.”

“We continue to express concerns with China’s campaign to pressure countries to discontinue ties with Taiwan. We continue to have an interest in cross-strait peace and stability,” it said, echoing an American Institute in Taiwan statement on Friday.

“We also continue our commitment to the US’ one China policy, based on the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act,” it said. “The United States is exploring a variety of options with regard to how to respond.”

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