US Takes First Steps on New Pro-Taiwan Legislation

US Takes First Steps on New Pro-Taiwan Legislation
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A slew of pro-Taiwan legislation has been brought to the US congress in the last two months.

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U.S. Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts on Friday introduced the "Taiwan International Participation Act of 2018," a bill that the senators say would "instruct U.S. representatives in international organizations to use the voice and vote of the U.S. to support Taiwan’s inclusion."

As of the time of publication, text of the bill has not yet been released.

“The United States has an obligation to do everything it can to strengthen Taiwan’s international standing,” said Gardner in a press release, “This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that major international organizations do not turn a blind eye to our ally Taiwan simply because of China’s bullying tactics.”

Taiwan was recently excluded from the World Health Assembly, a United Nations convention of public health policy officials.

The senators' bill, under the working title, "A bill to advocate for Taiwan's inclusion in certain international organizations, and for other purposes," is one of several pro-Taiwan bills introduced in the past two months.

Also introduced were "A bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes," the "Taiwan Defense Assessment Commission Act of 2018," and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018. All have been referred to committees for consideration.

This can be a painstaking process; a similar "Taiwan Security Act" has been sitting in committee since November 2017.

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Photo credit: Reuters / 達志影像
Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are seen at a conference.

The Taiwan Travel Act took more than 14 months between being introduced and being passed into law on March 16, 2018. It passed the U.S. House by a voice vote and the Senate through unanimous consent, before being signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Taiwan has long been an active and productive contributor in international organizations that do not require statehood,” Senator Markey added in a statement, “Taiwan’s participation should continue, as we have a broader responsibility to our allies and partners to ensure coercion does not become the norm in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.”

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Editor: David Green