Kudos to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for unanimously approving the Taiwan Policy Act on Aug. 1 to strengthen and clarify U.S.-Taiwan relations. The bill was introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, and several co-chairmen of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.
The act would authorize the president to accept a letter of request for F-16C/D jets, encourage Cabinet-level visits, permit meetings between high-level officials in all executive departments and allow the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the American Institute in Taiwan to display their respective flags. It also calls for completion of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA), seeks the negotiation of a free-trade agreement with Taiwan and supports meaningful participation for Taiwan in relevant U.N. organizations. In addition, it seeks to ensure participation for Taiwan in the International Civil Aviation Organization so that Taiwan may contribute to the success of a global strategy to address aviation-security threats based on effective international cooperation.
Although U.S. relations with Taiwan are stronger than ever, Taiwan still faces a precarious situation as North Korea remains unpredictable, and there is a crisis of maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Our relationship with Taiwan is a cornerstone of foreign policy in the region. I strongly urge the House and Senate to seriously consider and pass this critically important bill at the earliest opportunity.
Overseas Community Affairs Council
Potomac Falls, Va.