US lawmakers on Friday introduced the Taiwan Fellowship Act to help US federal government officials gain a better understanding of Taiwan, said US Senator Edward Markey, one of the lawmakers who introduced the proposed legislation.
The act is modeled after the 1994 Mansfield Fellowship Program between the US and Japan, Markey said in a statement.
It would provide federal government employees with a two-year fellowship as part of an exchange program to allow them to learn, live and work in Taiwan, he said.
The bill was introduced to both chambers of the US Congress by Markey, US Senator Marco Rubio and US representatives Ted Yoho and Ami Bera.
Markey said that when participants concluded an exchange program and returned to the federal government, they would be better positioned to advance US values and interests in the Indo-Pacific region by taking advantage of the special emphasis on bolstering Washington’s strategic partnership with Taiwan.
“The US strategic partnership with Taiwan’s vibrant democracy of 23 million people continues to grow from engagement and cooperation in areas such as trade, human rights and the rule of law, security, and battling a global pandemic,” Markey said in the statement.
“Amidst China’s concerted campaign to isolate Taiwan on the global stage, an exchange of our most qualified public servants to the island nation of Taiwan is a visible demonstration of our unwavering commitment to Taiwan,” he said.
The proposed legislation reiterates the US’ commitment in the Taiwan Relations Act, which affirms Washington’s policy “to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan,” the Taiwan Fellowship Act says.
Moreover, the bill is consistent with the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, emphasizing that “the United States has grown its strategic partnership with Taiwan’s vibrant democracy of 23,000,000 people.”
In the statement, Yoho said that the Taiwan Fellowship Act is a long overdue investment by Washington to support the professional development of Taiwan experts in the US federal government.
Bera said that the US and Taiwan have developed a strong relationship and he believes that the bill would enhance bilateral ties by allowing federal government officials to equip themselves with a stronger understanding of the Indo-Pacific region so that they can better inform US policymaking when they return home.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party
PRESS FREEDOM: Britain called reports that a BBC journalist was beaten and detained ‘unacceptable’; China said the reporter did not present his credentials Chinese authorities yesterday eased some COVID-19 rules, but affirmed their severe “zero COVID” strategy after protesters demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) resign in the biggest show of opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in decades. The government made no comment on the protests or the criticism of Xi, but the decision to ease at least some of the restrictions appeared to be aimed at quelling anger. It was not clear how many people were detained since protests began on Friday and spread to cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The city government of Beijing yesterday announced that it would no longer