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house Bill H. Res. 273

Should the House Affirm America's Commitment to Taiwan?

Argument in favor

The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is an important one, and it’s worth reaffirming through a formal House resolution.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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05/06/2019
Taiwan 🇹🇼 Remains A Firm Allie Of The USA 🇺🇸 And Needs Our Support. The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is an important one, and it’s worth reaffirming through a formal House resolution. I’m in full support of both the following House Bills: * H.R. 2002: Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019 * H.Res. 273: Reaffirming the United States commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is based on shared values of democracy and respect for the rule of law. It’s important for the U.S. to deepen its relationship with Taiwan in order to afford Taiwanese diplomats proper respect and support Taiwan against China’s aggression. SneakyPete. 👍🏻🇺🇸-🇹🇼👍🏻. 5*5*19.....
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David's Opinion
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05/07/2019
Taiwan is a great ally. However, by law already support the nation. Not sure the reason for a resolution like this. Vote yes to reassure Taiwan.
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05/07/2019
Should affirm all of our allies. WH scares the shit out of everyone on the planet, not from force but from incompetency.
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Argument opposed

There’s no need to formally reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Taiwan — continuing to engage with Taiwan is sufficient.

Ronald's Opinion
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05/07/2019
Our house must stop meaningless "resolutions". or "express support" nonsense. Do your job. Support Our President. Build Our Wall. Pass our budget.
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eliyak's Opinion
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05/07/2019
I'm torn. These silly resolutions at least keep Congress occupied. "Idle politicians are the devil's tools..."
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IllWill's Opinion
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05/07/2019
Stop pushing through pointless non-binding resolutions! Why does Congress have to affirm that the U.S. government is going to continue to abide by laws that it should be abiding by?
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed May 7th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 414 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedApril 1st, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Res. 273?

This resolution would reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act, which authorized continued “commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan” after the U.S. established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. The TRA mandates special American obligations and commitments to Taiwan, and is the only legal underpinning of U.S. policy toward Taiwan. Under the TRA, the U.S. doesn’t have formal ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to help defend the island nation and is its main source of arms.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Foreign policy; Taiwan; China; State Dept.; and U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 273

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced this resolution to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to Taiwan and the TRA’s implementation:

“Taiwan has a vibrant, pluralistic democracy and is an indispensable partner in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.  In the four decades since the signing of the landmark Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan has demonstrated what it means to be a model global citizen, making substantial contributions on issues ranging from global health, to combating terrorism, to investing in sustainable and equitable economic growth at home and abroad. As we mark this important milestone, I’m happy to join with Ranking Member McCaul in offering legislation to make it crystal clear: the United States commitment to Taiwan, undergirded by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances, remains as ironclad today as it was 40 years ago.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, adds:

“When the Taiwan Relations Act was signed into law forty years ago, it built an unshakeable foundation for the United States relationship with Taiwan. In the decades since, Taiwan has developed into a critical U.S. partner and a beacon of democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law in a region threatened by authoritarian hegemony. However, our critical relationship with Taiwan is being needlessly constrained by excessive restrictions, driven by communist China’s bullying. The Taiwan Assurance Act will ensure that our partnership with Taiwan is based on the relationship’s own merits—cutting red tape and building on the foundation the TRA gave us. I’m proud to bring forward these bipartisan measures with Chairman Engel as we approach this historic 40th anniversary.”

In an op-ed in The Hill, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), an original cosponsor of this bill as well as the sponsor of H.Res.248, a resolution to distinguish the U.S. One-China Policy from the People’s Republic of China's One-China Principle, argues that Taiwan is one of America’s most important relationships:

“Taiwan is one of the world’s most compelling examples of democratic transformation, one of the richest countries in Asia, and one of our top trading partners. Indeed the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is one of our most important, right up there with U.S.-Israel and U.S.-United Kingdom…  I believe that it is essential that we continue to strengthen our bilateral relationship… our support for Taiwan is becoming increasingly urgent. While the Chinese Communist Party has always sought to impose its view that Taiwan is a renegade province on the rest of the world, President Xi Jinping is now taking a more aggressive stance. For instance, in a speech earlier this year, President Xi implied a timeline for uniting Taiwan with the mainland, and reserved the right to use force… Furthermore, China continues to prevent Taiwan from participating in international organizations, even those like the World Health Organization, where an entity does not have to be a state to participate as an observer. China also actively campaigns for countries to sever diplomatic relations with Taipei, interferes in Taiwan’s elections, and engages in economic warfare against the people of Taiwan. Our continued implementation of the TRA in response to this pressure demonstrates our commitment to the rule of law, human rights, and democracy in Asia. If we refuse to defend these universal human values when they are at stake for the people of Taiwan, how can we credibly call out Beijing when it backs Cambodia’s dictator, or gives the Burmese military a free pass for its genocide against the Rohingya? Furthermore, how can we call out such authoritarians if we are unwilling to stand up to the PRC? If we are too scared of what President Xi might say, or of what Beijing might do, all our rhetoric about a free and open Indo-Pacific is nothing more than hot air – and China has already won. Truly honoring the TRA… means standing up for Taiwan, treating it fairly, and helping it provide for its own defense… [T]he Taiwan Relations Act remains a monument to our resolve to uphold democracy around the world. We must continue this fight in Taiwan, and anywhere around the globe where our values are threatened.”

The Chinese government has been vocal about its desire to reunify Taiwan and China. In a January 2, 2019 speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” a policy document issued by the National People’s Congress on the day China and the U.S. formally established relations after Washington broke ties with Taiwan on January 1, 1979, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwanese officials to work with Mainland Chinese officials to realize the “historic task” of complete reunification. Xi said:

“It is a historical conclusion drawn over 70 years of development of cross-strait relations, and a must for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era. It’s a legal fact that both sides of the Strait belong to one China, and cannot be changed by anyone or any force.”

This resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a voice vote with the support of 27 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 17 Republicans and 10 Democrats. A Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), has passed the Senate unanimously with the support of seven bipartisan cosponsors, including five Republicans and two Democrats.

When they introduced this resolution, Reps. McCaul and Engel also introduced the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019 (H.R. 2002), which would enhance engagement between the U.S. and Taiwan. Both pieces of legislation were introduced on April 2, 2019, ahead of the TRA’s fortieth anniversary on April 10, 2019.


Of NoteThe  U.S. relationship with Taiwan is defined by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), passed by Congress in 1979, which authorized continued “commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan” after the U.S. established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. The TRA mandates special American obligations and commitments to Taiwan, and is the only legal underpinning of U.S. policy toward Taiwan. Under the TRA, the U.S. doesn’t have formal ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to help defend the island nation and is its main source of arms. According to the Pentagon, the U.S. has sold Taiwan over $15 billion in weaponry since 2010.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / avdeev007)

AKA

Reaffirming the United States commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act.

Official Title

Reaffirming the United States commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act.

    Taiwan 🇹🇼 Remains A Firm Allie Of The USA 🇺🇸 And Needs Our Support. The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is an important one, and it’s worth reaffirming through a formal House resolution. I’m in full support of both the following House Bills: * H.R. 2002: Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019 * H.Res. 273: Reaffirming the United States commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is based on shared values of democracy and respect for the rule of law. It’s important for the U.S. to deepen its relationship with Taiwan in order to afford Taiwanese diplomats proper respect and support Taiwan against China’s aggression. SneakyPete. 👍🏻🇺🇸-🇹🇼👍🏻. 5*5*19.....
    Like (44)
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    Our house must stop meaningless "resolutions". or "express support" nonsense. Do your job. Support Our President. Build Our Wall. Pass our budget.
    Like (18)
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    Taiwan is a great ally. However, by law already support the nation. Not sure the reason for a resolution like this. Vote yes to reassure Taiwan.
    Like (19)
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    Should affirm all of our allies. WH scares the shit out of everyone on the planet, not from force but from incompetency.
    Like (17)
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    If they want to be Taiwanese and not Chinese, they should have the right to do so. That’s that.
    Like (14)
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    Ummm....yes, Taiwan, much like Israel needs our support and they stand amidst countries like China—and in the Middle East, Israel—whose human rights and issues of democracy are despicable. And as far as I’m concerned, anything that sends a message to China that says, “You may be the bully on your block, but the US has Taiwan’s back; they are an important ally and trade partner,” works for me! Plus it’s bi-partisan; all good in my book!
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    Taiwan is its own country. China thinks it owns everything around it. The sea as well as the land. Don’t allow Taiwan to become another Tibet. And about Tibet, let’s recognize Tibet as an independent country. China had no business there as well.
    Like (13)
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    We must remain committed to the Free Chinese Government on 🇹🇼 Taiwan! That is our ally since the 1930s. We should never have relations with any Communist government to include trade!
    Like (13)
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    Yes as it will send the people of Taiwan a clear message that we are with them. This will also send a message to China that they need to understand that we are allies of Taiwan.
    Like (12)
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    I'm torn. These silly resolutions at least keep Congress occupied. "Idle politicians are the devil's tools..."
    Like (10)
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    Taiwan is all that is left of what China was before the communist took over. Formosa (Taiwan) has always been our ally. China claiming Taiwan as theirs would be like the US claiming Cuba as ours. Proximity has nothing to do with it. Taiwan has never been part of communist China. Anything we can do to strengthen our ties and support is the right thing to do.
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    We need to continue to support democracy where it still exists. Taiwan is my parents' motherland and I am grateful for the US Support of an independent Taiwan. I still have many relatives there. Thank you!
    Like (8)
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    Stop pushing through pointless non-binding resolutions! Why does Congress have to affirm that the U.S. government is going to continue to abide by laws that it should be abiding by?
    Like (8)
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    Taiwan is a thriving democracy and deserves our support. The communist party took over mainland China but could not take the portion now known as Taiwan. We should not award aggression by giving them the rest. Support a strong Taiwan.
    Like (7)
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    America stands with Taiwan 🇹🇼!
    Like (6)
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    Taiwan must feel like a ping pong ball the way they have been bounced back & forth with China. They need to know we are here for them.
    Like (5)
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    It’s not necessary and will piss off China when we are trying to get out of this trade war. How about we don’t poke the bear when we are trying to get them to agree to things that they don’t want to agree to.
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    Yes they have been a business partner and a military ally for 70 years
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    Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and US ally that depends on our support for survival in the face of constant threats and propaganda attacks from China. We must take every opportunity to reaffirm our kinship with and support for Taiwan.
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    Good idea. Good national security step.
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