Wednesday, November 29, 2023

US lawmakers introduce bill to help Taiwan expand ties as tensions with China spike

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Amid the deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, two US lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this week, which seeks to help Taiwan develop ties with other countries amid China’s coercive actions designed to isolate the country. The Promoting Ties with Taiwan Act, which was introduced this week aims to make it the policy of the U.S. government to use its diplomatic influence and reputation to help Taiwan expand connections with nations and partners around the world. The draft “Promoting Ties with Taiwan Act,” was introduced by Republican Michelle Fischbach and Democrat Scott Peters, Taiwan Focus reported.

Taiwan has split from China after the end of the civil war in 1949 and has since been governing independently. Beijing says that the island is a breakaway province, and considers any contacts between Taipei and other countries to be meddling in Chinese internal affairs. The news introduced bill would require the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to develop a strategy to help Taiwan foster new bonds of friendship and trade connections around the world to prevent its isolation.

In a matter of 180 days following the passage of the bill, Blinken would be required to submit a strategy to Congress, including an evaluation of staffing and other resources needed to implement the new policy on Taiwan. Moreover, one year into the submission of the strategy, Blinken would be required to submit a report to Congress detailing actions taken to carry out the strategy. So far, the bill has won support from 13 House representatives across party lines.

“Taiwan is a valued friend and an important trading partner for the United States. I’m proud to propose concrete steps that our government can take towards encouraging similar relationships between Taiwan and other countries around the world,” said Fischbach. Peters said peace in the Taiwan Strait is an enduring security interest for the US, Taiwan, allies, and partners committed to a rules-based international order that promotes the prosperity and interests of all.

The representatives noted that Taiwan, which has full diplomatic ties with 15 nations, is being isolated as Beijing is constantly trying to pressure several countries into switching diplomatic recognition, Taiwan Focus reported. The new bill is currently being reviewed by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee and needs to be approved by the committee and Congress before it can be signed into law by the president. 

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