Taiwan: US Senator Introduces Bill to Facilitate Travel
US Senator Marco Rubio, a long-time supporter of Taiwan, introduced the “Taiwan Travel Act” to facilitate and encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels. In the past spring Senator Rubio had already passed a resolution ratifying the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as foundations to US-Taiwan relations. Formosan Association for Public Affairs’ President Peter Chen praised the bill, stating that it is an important step in supporting Taiwan’s democracy and autonomy.
Below is a press release by the Formosan Association of Public Affairs:
U.S. SENATOR CALLS FOR LIFTING OF ALL RESTRICTIONS ON HIGH-LEVEL VISITS FROM TAIWAN INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT
Today [27 September 2016], Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the “Taiwan Travel Act” – binding legislation “declaring that it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.”
The bill reads: “Since the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, relations between the United States and Taiwan have suffered from a lack of communication due to the self-imposed restrictions that the United States maintains on high-level visits with Taiwan.” It concludes that: “the United States Government should encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.”
Former Republican candidate for president Rubio is a long-time Taiwan supporter and member of the Senate Taiwan Caucus. The Senator introduced and passed a resolution this past spring affirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations. When Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen transited through Miami on her way to Panama last June, Senator Rubio came to meet with President Tsai in her Miami hotel.
FAPA President Peter Chen states: ““This is an important signal from the Senate that the present approach regarding bilateral contacts and communication is outdated, and not conducive to peace and stability in the region. If the US seeks to enhance democracy in the region, it needs to be more supportive to countries that achieved democracy.”
Peter Chen concludes: “We are talking about American soil. It should be the prerogative of the United States only to decide who can visit the Nation's Capital, not the prerogative of the communist leaders in Beijing.”