Kudos to the 29 members of the U.S. Congress, headed by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce, along with Steve Chabot and J. Randy Forbes, who have called on Secretary of State John F. Kerry to launch a major new Taiwan policy review.
These members released their joint letter to Mr. Kerry last week, on Sept. 25, because they strongly believe that there is a need to undertake a new and thorough Taiwan policy review. This will lay the basis for further expanding relations with Taiwan, thereby enhancing continued peace and stability in the region.
There would be strong congressional support for opening up the relationship by scrapping many current restrictions and allowing Taiwan’s leadership to visit Washington to discuss and negotiate trade and diplomatic developments. The U.S. government should openly affirm that Taiwan has an important role to play in regional security. It is not in American interests to see Taiwan slowly eclipsed by risk of trade marginalization. That’s why the United States should launch formal discussions of a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan as soon as possible. Such an agreement would create an impetus for Taiwan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Although U.S. relations with Taiwan are stronger than ever, Taiwan still faces a precarious situation as geopolitical tensions increase throughout East Asia. The United States’ relationship with Taiwan is a cornerstone of foreign policy in the region, and a Taiwan policy review is overdue. I strongly urge the Obama administration to seriously consider this critically important joint letter at the earliest opportunity.
Overseas Chinese Affairs Council of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States