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.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the