The US House of Representatives has passed a new bill reaffirming support for the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and authorizing the sale of four decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taiwan.
There was overwhelming bipartisan support for the legislation, demonstrating on the 35th anniversary of the TRA that Taiwan still has major backing on Capitol Hill.
“America’s support for Taiwan has allowed this island nation to realize its full potential,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said.
“It is now more important than ever that we reaffirm our strong commitment to Taiwan,” California Republican Royce said.
“Taiwan is a beacon of hope and democracy in a part of the world that still yearns for the basic freedoms that Americans and Taiwanese enjoy on a daily basis,” he added.
Royce said the guided missile frigates were “greatly needed” and that the US Congress had made it clear to the administration of President Barack Obama that it wants more arms sales to Taiwan.
The new US bill stresses the importance of maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait and of deepening US-Taiwan trade and security relations.
The Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act will now be forwarded to the Senate for further action.
In a statement released in Washington on Monday night, Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said the events of recent days “bear testament” to the vibrancy of Taiwan’s civil society.
“The US commitment to Taiwan’s security embodied in the TRA, as well as steadfast advocacy for human rights by the US Congress in the years subsequent to its enactment, were both indispensable beacons of hope to Taiwan,” Su said.
Also on Monday, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced a resolution reaffirming support of the US government for freedom of navigation in the Asia-Pacific region, and for the peaceful resolution of outstanding territorial and maritime disputes.
“In recent years, the East and South China seas — and the airspace above — have been the setting for a series of alarming developments,” a statement from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said. “These maritime issues have created real tension and the potential for conflict in the region that could easily spill over into a broader regional conflict.”
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said freedom of navigation in the region is vital to international commerce and the prosperity and security of the US.
“US allies in the region continue to be threatened by aggressive actions by countries such as China, which is trying to resolve disputes through coercion rather than diplomatic negotiations,” Rubio said. “It is incumbent upon us to stand firm with our allies to promote peaceful cooperation in this vital region.”
INVASION: Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said: ‘A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance’ Japan and the US could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday. Speaking virtually to a forum organized by Taiwanese think tank the Institute for National Policy Research, Abe said that the Senkaku Islands — known as the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in Taiwan — the Sakishima Islands and Yonaguni Island are only about 100km from Taiwan. An invasion of Taiwan would be a grave danger to Japan, he said. “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. People in Beijing, [Chinese] President
TIGHTENED RULES: Employees in the affected sectors must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1 or provide an exemption certificate, and they must undergo COVID-19 testing People working in sectors supervised by the education, economics, labor, and health and welfare ministries must be fully vaccinated by next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. “Starting from Jan. 1, vaccination rules for workers at industries supervised by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare will be further enhanced,” said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. New employees and those returning to work must provide a negative COVID-19 test result — an antigen rapid test, at-home rapid
NO ENTRY: The refusal to process Lithuanian goods at Chinese ports suggests that they have been ordered to do so by an official entity, a trade group head said The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the governments of other EU member states to jointly respond to Beijing blocking Lithuanian exports from entering China, as “Lithuania is not listed on the [Chinese customs] system as a country.” Lithuanian media Web site 15min.lt yesterday cited a Lithuanian wood exporter as saying that it was not allowed to unload its goods at an unnamed Chinese port. The company said that its Chinese partner cited customs authorities as saying that any merchandise or shipments related to Lithuania would be refused, effective immediately. Lithuanian timber exporter Sprusas confirmed that Lithuanian goods could be loaded
‘RESOLUTELY COMMITTED’: Sparking a crisis in the Taiwan Strait would be in no one’s interest, starting with China, the US secretary of state told a conference US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Reuters Next conference on Friday that Chinese leaders should think carefully about their actions toward Taiwan, warning of “terrible consequences” if China precipitates a crisis across the Taiwan Strait. In an interview, Blinken addressed multiple foreign policy challenges facing the administration of US President Joe Biden, including faltering efforts to repair the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine and the spiraling conflict in Ethiopia. Most acute might be China’s increasingly aggressive posture toward Taiwan. Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) has said tensions with China are at their worst in