The government yesterday welcomed US President Donald Trump’s signing into law of the Taiwan Travel Act, which pledges to deepen the mutually beneficial partnership between the two nations.
Trump signed the act on Friday, when it went into effect. It aims to allow high-level visits between Taiwanese and US government officials.
The act, which serves as a follow-up to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, allows “officials at all levels of the United States Government, including Cabinet-level national security officials, general officers and other executive branch officials, to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts.”
It also allows “high-level officials of Taiwan to enter the United States, under conditions which demonstrate appropriate respect for the dignity of such officials, and to meet with officials of the United States, including officials from the Department of State and the Department of Defense and other Cabinet agencies.”
The bill was introduced in January last year by US Representative Steve Chabot, and cosponsored by US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce and US Representative Brad Sherman.
It was submitted to Trump on Monday last week following its unanimous passage in the US House on Jan. 9 and the US Senate on Feb. 28.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it sincerely welcomed the act, and expressed gratitude for the goodwill and support by the US executive and legislative branches.
“The act encourages the US government to increase the level of official exchanges and communications between Taipei and Washington, paving the way for strengthened Taiwan-US ties,” the ministry said.
The Taiwan-US relationship has grown stronger over the years, particularly after Trump’s inauguration in January last year, thanks to frequent visits to Taiwan by senior US officials to engage in business, cultural, educational and Global Cooperation and Training Framework events, the ministry said.
The framework was signed by the two sides in 2015 to lay out plans for cooperation in areas including international humanitarian assistance, public health, environmental protection, energy and technology.
“We will continue to keep in close contact with Washington and deepen our cooperative partnership in all areas and at all levels based on the principles of mutual trust and reciprocity,” the ministry said.
Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) also thanked Trump for signing the act into law, saying that Taipei would cooperate closely with the executive branch of the US government to develop stronger ties.
“The US is our important ally. We sincerely thank [it for] the firm support that has been shown to us from various sectors of US society,” Lin said.
Taiwan would continue to work with the US to build a solid cooperative partnership to maintain regional peace and stability, Lin added.
The act describes Taiwan as “a beacon of democracy” in Asia, and states that “Taiwan’s democratic achievements inspire many countries and people in the region.”
In Washington, Stanley Kao (高碩泰), Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., said he is looking forward to more interaction between the two countries.
The representative office is making it its mission to deepen Taiwan-U.S. relations through these potential high-level official exchange visits, he noted.
Senator Jim Inhofe welcomed the move, saying that high-level meetings “remain extremely valuable, especially as China continues their unprecedented reclamation in the South China Sea.”
He described the legislation as “an important tool as we continue to ensure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and remains a committed US partner in the region.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, expressing Beijing’s strong dissatisfaction with Trump’s action, was quoted by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency as saying: “The relevant clauses of the Taiwan Travel Act severely violate the ‘one China’ principle.”
The spokesperson went on to urge the US to “stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way.”
Additional reporting by AFP and CNA
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
UNUSUAL UPTICK: There are more flu-like illnesses in northern China than in the past 3 years, but data from Beijing showed that known pathogens are responsible Responding to an uptick in respiratory illnesses in China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said it has instructed international airport and port quarantine centers to raise their alert levels, and plans to issue an alert to healthcare practitioners. The number of flu-like illnesses reported in northern China has been increasing for five consecutive weeks, and is higher than the same period in the past three years, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. “According to the WHO’s latest statement, issued yesterday, information provided by Chinese government showed that the illnesses were mainly reported among children, and the illnesses were attributed
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
‘OPEN TO DIALOGUE’: Her alliance with Vice President William Lai is based on their commitment to preserve the nation’s freedom and democracy, Hsiao Bi-khim said Taiwan should “trust, but verify” reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) denied that Beijing plans to invade Taiwan in 2027, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) told reporters yesterday. “We anticipate and we hope that Chairman Xi Jinping was sincere when he said there was no timetable” for bringing Taiwan under control by force, said Hsiao, who earlier this week resigned as the representative to the US to join the ticket of DPP nominee, Vice President William Lai (賴清德). Borrowing a phrase from former US president Ronald Reagan — which US President Joe Biden also used after