Important legislative actions afoot in Congress. In addition to the Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act introduced by Sens. Coryn and Menendez (text of bill), this week Cong. Ros-Lethinen has introduced the Taiwan Policy Act of 2011. According to the Formosa Foundation, which hosts the text of the bill here, it represents an attempt to significantly upgrade US relations with Taiwan. Terri Giles, the Executive Director of the Foundation, sent this around:
The Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ileana Ros-Lethinen (R-FL), today introduced a significant piece of legislation that clarifies the United States policy toward Taiwan and enhances its oversight in the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act. The Taiwan Policy Act of 2011 is cosponsored by Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and Dan Burton (R-IN).DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen spoke at AEI the other day (video). I heard that Sen Inouye, Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, showed up to greet Tsai at a reception in the Rayburn Room that evening. Could bode well for Congressional movement on the F-16s, and on Taiwan in general. Remember that though it is highly probable no F-16s will be sold, merely working on the issue helps raise Taiwan's profile.
The Taiwan Policy Act of 2011 aims to “strengthen and clarify the commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan, as codified in the Taiwan Relations Act, and for other purposes.” The bill underscores the policy of the United States is to “support Taiwan, Taiwan’s democracy, and the human rights of its people.” Notably, the bill states that it shall be the policy of the United States to strengthen the Defense of Taiwan, to revitalize trade and investment ties with Taiwan, to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international organization, and to encourage visits by cabinet level officials between both countries.
Taiwan is strategically essential to the United States and this piece of legislation is a vital step in reinforcing our commitment to our democratic partner and ally.
The Formosa Foundation has worked closely with Congresswoman Ros-Lethinen and other members of Congress to bring the important issues of Taiwan policy to the top of the agenda in Washington and to the attention of the American people. In June, Ros-Lehtinen assured over two hundred participants at a Formosa Foundation community event that “it is strongly in America’s national interest to re-energize and upgrade relations between our two peoples and our two great democracies. In my capacity as chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I hope to do just that in the weeks and months ahead.” Today she put her words into action.
We are extremely grateful that Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has introduced this historical bill to call attention to Taiwan’s important to the United States. We urge you to contact your House representative asking for their support of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2011.
The news of growing pro-Taiwan momentum in Congress was given new urgency by yet another F-5 crash in Taiwan yesterday. This time two of the ancient aircraft were lost. Taiwan's entire fleet of 60 F-5s was grounded as a result.
Apropo: Dean Cheng at Heritage observes the gap between DOD and the Obama Administration in assessing and responding to China's rise. Regrettably, Cheng does not put his finger on the real, urgent problem: ending our wasteful, stupid wars in the Middle East that are literally making the US trade a losing war in Afghanistan for Taiwan. Criminally stupid.
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