Most Pro-Taiwan Lawmakers Reelected To Congress

Most Pro-Taiwan Lawmakers Reelected To Congress
Credit: Reuters / TPG Images

What you need to know

With the majority of races for the U.S. Congress called, most pro-Taiwan legislators up for reelection have won.

With the majority of races for the U.S. Congress called, most pro-Taiwan legislators up for reelection have won, including at least 11 Senators and 120 Representatives.

In the outgoing Congress, there are 26 members in the Senate Taiwan Caucus and 139 members in the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, according to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Washington-based nonprofit organization advocating for stronger U.S.-Taiwan relations. Both caucuses are co-chaired by Republican and Democratic members.

In the 2020 general election, 35 Senate and all 435 House seats were up for grabs. Newly-elected lawmakers will be sworn in on January 3, 2021.

In the Senate Taiwan Caucus, all 11 members who sought reelection have won, including James Inhofe (R-OK), the co-chair and the most senior member of the caucus. As the chairman for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he has backed several arms sales to Taiwan, and in October, he called for formal negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG Images
Chairman James Inhofe speaks during a Senate Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. May 7, 2020.

Also re-elected are Ed Markey (D-MA), who co-sponsored the Taiwan Fellowship Act in June to establish a two-year exchange program for federal employees to live and work in Taiwan, and Tom Cotton (R-AR), who introduced the Taiwan Assurance Act in March to boost Washington’s relations with Taiwan.

Outside of the Senate caucus, Chris Coons (D-DE), who co-authored the TAIPEI Act to increase the scope of U.S. relations with Taiwan in response to Chinese pressure, secured reelection by a comfortable margin, but another author of the Act, Cory Gardner (R-CO), lost his race against his Democratic rival John Hickenlooper. The bill took effect in March.

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Photo Credit: CNA
President Tsai Ing-wen met with Senator Cory Gardner in the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, June 2, 2019.

Gardner, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last year. After losing his reelection bid, he took a call from Tsai and the Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who hailed him as “a staunch supporter of Taiwan.”

 

In the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, 123 out of 138 members were running for reelection, and so far, 117 have been called, including all four co-chairs in the caucus.

John Curtis (R-UT), who led a House version of the TAIPEI Act, also won the race, and so did Michael McCaul (R-TX), who introduced the Taiwan Security Act and once said the U.S. has to “recognize the independence of Taiwan at some point.” McCaul also joined the Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy to introduce the China Task Force Act last month, which includes seven acts that concern Taiwan. Tom Tiffany (R-WI), who called for resumption of formal relations with Taiwan, also won.

Outside of the Congressional caucus, three pro-Taiwan lawmakers, including Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who introduced the Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act in November and promoted Taiwan’s membership in the International Monetary Fund, won his race.

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Photo credit: AP/ TPG Images
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California

While many in Taiwan believe Democrats are soft on China, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaker of the House who has led the House Democrats since 2002, staged a protest in Tiananmen Square to show support for the pro-democracy movements in China. In 2020, she congratulated Tsai for her victory in the presidential election and backed the TAIPEI Act, saying that “Today and on all days, Congress continues to send a message to the world that America stands with Taiwan.”


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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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