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U.S. legislators introduce bill to resume formal ties with Taiwan

  • U.S. legislators introduce bill to resume formal ties with Taiwan
    The resolution urges the U.S. government to resume normal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, and support Taiwan's membership in international organizations. U.S. legislators introduce bill to resume formal ties with Taiwan
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The resolution urges the U.S. government to resume normal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, and support Taiwan's membership in international organizations.

 

Two United States congressmen have introduced a resolution calling for the U.S. government to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and end the "one China policy," which they described as outdated and counter-productive.

The bill, U.S. Congress House Concurrent Resolution 21, was sponsored by house representatives Tom Tiffany and Scott Perry.

It is nearly identical to the bill Tiffany introduced last September but did not get out of committee, and it is unclear if the bill's prospects are any better this time.

The resolution urges the U.S. government to resume normal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, and support Taiwan's membership in international organizations.

The U.S. government switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 and has since maintained only unofficial diplomatic relations with Taiwan as defined by the Taiwan Relations Act.

According to the texts of the bill, the "one China policy" is obsolete, does not serve the people of Taiwan or the U.S. and fails to reflect the reality that Taiwan has been a sovereign and independent country for over 70 years.

It also said Beijing has weaponized the "one China policy" to block Taiwan's membership and full participation in international organizations and events, "ranging from the the United Nations and the World Health Organization to the Olympic Games."

Taiwan has actually regularly participated in the Olympic Games, but under the name "Chinese Taipei."

"The President should recognize the legitimacy of the democratically elected national government in Taipei, normalize diplomatic relations between our two nations, appoint a U.S. ambassador to Taiwan, and receive a Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S.," the bill said.

It also called for the U.S. Trade Representative to initiate formal negotiations with Taiwan on the establishment of a U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement.

In a statement issued Monday, Tiffany said, "for more than 40 years, American presidents of both political parties have repeated Beijing's bogus lie that Taiwan is part of Communist China -- despite the objective reality that it is not."

"It is time to do away with this outdated policy."

As a concurrent resolution, if the bill were to pass both houses of Congress, it would only express the sense of Congress and not require the approval of the president, and would not have the force of law.

Meanwhile, in Taipei, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) thanked the two U.S. congressmen for introducing the bill, which she said demonstrated the friendly relations between Taiwan and the U.S.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to maintain close contact with U.S. legislators and the U.S. government to deepen Taiwan-U.S. relations," she said on Tuesday during a regular press briefing.