February 27, 2020

Risch, Gardner, Markey Introduce Resolution Congratulating President of Taiwan

Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected as Taiwan’s fourth democratically elected leader

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, introduced a resolution today congratulating Tsai Ing-wen on her reelection as president of Taiwan and calling on the administration to send a high-level delegation for President Tsai’s inauguration ceremony on May 20, 2020.

“I am proud to join my colleagues in commending Taiwan for holding free and fair elections this past January. Taiwan’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and a free market economy is an example for the entire Indo-Pacific region,” said Risch. “As Taiwan faces relentless Chinese pressure, I remain committed to advocating for its inclusion and active participation in international organizations, including the World Health Organization. Additionally, I fully support exploring a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States. The United States values our important partnership with Taiwan, and I look forward to continuing our work together on shared interests and priorities in the months and years ahead.”

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s fourth democratically elected leader, on winning a second presidential term. It was an honor to host President Tsai in Denver last year, and it’s been a privilege working closely with her to advance the friendship between our nations during my multiple visits to Taipei,” said Gardner. “As China continues its aggressive campaign to delegitimize Taiwan, it’s critically important for the United States to reaffirm our support for Taiwan’s resilient and vibrant democracy, and to further grow the bonds of friendship between the people of Taiwan and the United States.”

“I applauded President Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election victory in January, which affirmed the Taiwanese people’s embrace of the rule of law and of democracy.  Taiwan continues to be a strong partner to the United States, and we should make every effort to increase Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and push back against China’s efforts to diplomatically isolate the island nation. Taiwan’s 32 million citizens have much to offer, including halting the spread of pandemics, particularly if China no longer worked to shut it out from international organizations. The United States can and should send a strong message of Taiwan’s rightful place in the world by sending a Cabinet level official to President Tsai’s inauguration this May,” said Markey.

The full resolution is available here and below:

Title: Commending the people of Taiwan on holding free and fair democratic presidential and legislative elections, and congratulating Madame Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election to the presidency of Taiwan.

Whereas the people of the United States and Taiwan enjoy extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations founded in shared strategic interests and cemented by a commitment to democratic values;

Whereas Taiwan is a free, democratic, and prosperous nation of more than 23,000,000 people and an important contributor to peace and stability around the world, and its transformation into a robust democracy and a strong free market economy with a vibrant civil society offers a model for others in the Indo-Pacific;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8; 22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.), signed into law on April 10, 1979, codified the basis for continued commercial, cultural, security, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan, serves as the foundation to preserve and promote continued bilateral bonds, and states that it is the policy of the United States—

(1) to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on the China mainland and all other peoples of the Western Pacific area;

(2) to declare that peace and stability in the area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern;

(3) to make clear that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means;

(4) to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States;

(5) to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and

(6) to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan;

Whereas the United States and Taiwan have built a strong economic partnership in which—

(1) the United States is Taiwan’s second largest trading partner; and

(2) Taiwan is the 10th largest trading partner of the United States and a key destination for United States agricultural exports;

Whereas the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan share deep cultural and personal ties, as exemplified by the large flow of visitors and exchanges each year and the over 23,000 Taiwanese students who study in the United States;

Whereas the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2015 establishing the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, under which Taiwan, the United States, and Japan jointly sponsor training programs to share Taiwan’s expertise with partners around the world, including in the areas of public health, law enforcement, disaster relief, energy cooperation, women’s empowerment, digital economy and cybersecurity, media literacy, and good governance;

Whereas, in 2019, the United States and Taiwan also launched Indo-Pacific Democratic Governance Consultations, to help Indo-Pacific countries address governance challenges, and a new Pacific Islands Dialogue, to help meet the development needs of Taiwan’s diplomatic partners in the Pacific;

Whereas Taiwan has the expertise, willingness, and capability to engage further in international efforts to mitigate global challenges related to such issues as public health, aviation safety, crime, and terrorism, but its participation in such efforts has been constrained by conditions imposed by the People’s Republic of China;

Whereas successive Congresses have directed the executive branch to develop strategies to obtain meaningful participation for Taiwan in international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the International Criminal Police Organization (commonly known as “INTERPOL”);

Whereas the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–409) states that—

(1) it is United States policy “to support the close economic, political, and security relationship between Taiwan and the United States”; and

(2) the President should—

(A) “conduct regular transfers of defense articles to Taiwan that are tailored to meet the existing and likely future threats from the People’s Republic of China, including supporting the efforts of Taiwan to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities, as appropriate, including mobile, survivable, and cost-effective capabilities, into its military forces”; and

(B) “encourage the travel of high-level United States officials to Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act”;

Whereas, in presidential elections held on January 11, 2020, the incumbent President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, won a second four-year term with the most votes for a presidential candidate since Taiwan began direct elections, winning 57.1 percent of the presidential vote; and

Whereas President Tsai stated in her acceptance speech: “This election has shown that the Taiwanese people hope the international community will witness our commitment to democratic values and will respect our national identity. We also hope that Taiwan will be given a fair opportunity to participate in international affairs.”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) commends the people of Taiwan on holding free and fair democratic elections on January 11, 2020;

(2) congratulates Madame Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election to the presidency of Taiwan, wishes her well on her inauguration on May 20, 2020, and pledges to deepen the relationship between the peoples of the United States and Taiwan in her second term;

(3) encourages the President to send a high-level official delegation for President Tsai’s second inauguration, consistent with United States law;

(4) calls upon the United States Government to advocate for Taiwan’s active participation in international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the International Criminal Police Organization; and

(5) encourages United States financial support to enhance Taiwan’s international participation through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework in recognition of our shared commitment to an open, free, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

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