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.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
A Taiwanese bird protection group yesterday said that it has been kicked out of BirdLife International — a global conservation partnership — after it refused to sign a statement saying it would never advocate independence. The Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation said that BirdLife International last week voted to remove it, ending a partnership that had been in place since 1996. Over the past 20 years, the federation has changed its English name three times to satisfy BirdLife International, and recently the international group demanded that it change its Chinese name and sign a statement that it is “formally committing to not