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senate Bill S. 1678

Should the U.S. Enhance its Diplomatic Support of Taiwan?

Argument in favor

China’s increasingly aggressive stance toward Taiwan imperils its continued existence as a free, democratic, and independent nation. The U.S. should continue its historic diplomatic support of Taiwan to ensure regional peace and stability, and those goals would be furthered by the passage of this bipartisan bill.

jimK's Opinion
···
03/03/2020
Taiwan has been our ally and we need to not abandon another ally. I think that our involvement with Taiwan is responsible and helps provide a balance to China expansionism. I do not advocate ‘poking’ at China, but I do support assuring that Taiwan’s interests are protected diplomatically.
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David's Opinion
···
03/03/2020
The US must support the Democratic government of Taiwan against the dictatorship of the Chinese government. We are supposed to be the beacon of freedom!
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Michael r's Opinion
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03/03/2020
With the Navy, I visited Taiwan 6 times in 6 years. I am aware of the feelings of the Taiwanese toward the mainland. They have formed a republic which is succeeding and they are independent-minded people. They do not need the mainland for anything and do not desire to become a part of China. China has been chomping at the bit to annex them. In my opinion, the US should support their independence as we have since they settled there after the battles on the mainland. They want nothing more than independence and freedom.
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Argument opposed

While it’s important to support democracies around the world, it’s more important to avoid worsening the trade war and hurting the U.S. economy. Now isn’t the time for Congress to interject itself into the fragile China-Taiwan relationship while the U.S. is engaged in trade negotiations with China.

Thelma's Opinion
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03/03/2020
We should absolutely support underdog democracies, but not with platitude bills like this. We must support underdog democracies by being a pristine example of a democracy, by allowing immigrants from struggling countries to come here and learn about democracy first hand. Because of republican “leadership” we can no longer do this with a straight face. I’m not surprised by the hypocrisy of a republican sponsoring this bill. It’s what they do anymore.
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Rebekah 's Opinion
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03/03/2020
Since when does the US government give one hoot about people? We built this country on genocide and slavery, we drop bombs from trillion dollar planes on people making less than $1 a day just to keep the profits flowing, and call it “patriotic.” Taiwan is an ant between two stones who couldn’t care less. This bill is just a fig leaf to cover our centuries of racist colonialism.
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Doug's Opinion
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03/03/2020
Another do-nothing, meaningless bill. The Chinese government, much like the average American citizen could give a rip about “the sense of Congress”. Taxpayer dollars are finite and should be spent debating real problems, not expressing the feelings of Congress.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house Passed March 4th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 415 Yea / 0 Nay
  • The senate Passed October 29th, 2019
    Passed by Voice Vote
    IntroducedMay 23rd, 2019

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What is Senate Bill S. 1678?

This bill — known as the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019 — would express the sense of Congress that the U.S. government should support Taiwan in strengthening its official diplomatic relationships and unofficial partnerships with countries in both the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world. It would also express the sense of Congress that the U.S. government should consider increasing its economic, security and diplomatic engagement with nations that have demonstrably strengthened relations with Taiwan and reducing its engagement with nations that have taken serious or significant actions to undermine Taiwan. 

This bill would direct the Secretary of State to consult with the appropriate congressional committees with respect to proposals to increase or decrease the U.S. government’s economic, security, or diplomatic engagements with other nations as a result of their positions towards Taiwan.

Additionally, this bill would make it U.S. policy to:

  • Advocate for Taiwan’s membership in all international organizations in which statehood isn’t a requirement, and in which the U.S. is also a participant;

  • Advocate for Taiwan to be granted observer status is other appropriate international organizations;

  • Instruct U.S. government representatives to use America’s voice, vote, and influence to advocate for Taiwan’s membership or observer status in international organizations; and

  • Have the president and/or their designees advocate, as appropriate, for Taiwan’s membership or observer status in all appropriate international organizations or relevant bilateral engagements between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (including leader summits and the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue).

Finally, this bill would express the sense of Congress that the U.S. should engage in bilateral trade negotiations with Taiwan. These negotiations would have the goal of entering into a mutually beneficial free trade agreement that protects U.S. workers and benefits U.S. exporters.

Impact

Congress; U.S. foreign policy; U.S.-China relations; U.S.-Taiwan relations; China; Taiwan; and Taiwanese membership and participation in international organizations.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1678

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced this bill to strengthen Taiwan’s standing around the world in response to pressure and bullying tactics being exerted against it by China:

“The United States should use every tool to support Taiwan’s standing on the international stage. This bipartisan legislation demands a whole-of-government approach to ramp up our support for Taiwan, and will send a strong message to nations that there will be consequences for supporting Chinese actions that undermine Taiwan.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) added after its Senate passage:

“Taiwan’s commitment to democracy is inspiring and deserves to be celebrated. The Senate’s approval of this important legislation will help to preserve Taiwan’s international space and safeguard their democracy and free market economy.”

Taiwan’s representative office in the U.S. expressed gratitude after it unanimously passed the Senate. In a Facebook post, it said, “Taiwan will continue working closely with the U.S. and other like-minded countries in the region to contribute to peace, stability, and well-being in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The Trump administration views a “strong, prosperous and democratic Taiwan” as part of the rules-based order that the U.S. has a vital interest in upholding. In a recent strategy, the Pentagon expressed commitment to pursuing a strong relationship with Taiwan, particularly in light of Beijing’s pressure campaign against it.

However, at the same time, President Trump’s position on Taiwan has seemed to vacillate between strongly supporting the Taiwanese regime and wanting to merely use Taiwan as leverage against China on trade and North Korea. In a September 6, 2018 column in the Washington Post, Josh Rogin reported that a “senior administration official” described a dynamic in which “[t]his administration, from a personnel perspective, has the most hawkish Taiwan team ever…But if Xi calls [Donald Trump] and complains, the president’s instinct is to defer to that because there is always some pending issue in which we want something from the Chinese.”

This legislation unanimously passed the Senate and has the support of seven bipartisan cosponsors, including five Republicans and two Democrats. Its House companion has the support of 47 bipartisan cosponsors, including 32 Republicans and 15 Democrats.


Of NoteDuring a hearing for this bill’s House companion on October 23, 2019, Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) noted that China — which views Taiwan as a rogue province — has actively used its growing influence to coerce Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Indo-Pacific region to break ties with it. After the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen was elected president of Taiwan in 2016 and subsequently refused to accept the one-China principle, Beijing suspended diplomatic exchanges with Taiwan, staged war games around the island, and poached seven allies away from Taipei. After a September 2019 switch in alliance by the Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Taiwan now has only 15 diplomatic allies, most of which are impoverished countries in the Pacific and Latin America.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell with contributions from Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / avdeev007)

AKA

Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to express United States support for Taiwan's diplomatic alliances around the world.

    Taiwan has been our ally and we need to not abandon another ally. I think that our involvement with Taiwan is responsible and helps provide a balance to China expansionism. I do not advocate ‘poking’ at China, but I do support assuring that Taiwan’s interests are protected diplomatically.
    Like (100)
    Follow
    Share
    We should absolutely support underdog democracies, but not with platitude bills like this. We must support underdog democracies by being a pristine example of a democracy, by allowing immigrants from struggling countries to come here and learn about democracy first hand. Because of republican “leadership” we can no longer do this with a straight face. I’m not surprised by the hypocrisy of a republican sponsoring this bill. It’s what they do anymore.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    The US must support the Democratic government of Taiwan against the dictatorship of the Chinese government. We are supposed to be the beacon of freedom!
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    With the Navy, I visited Taiwan 6 times in 6 years. I am aware of the feelings of the Taiwanese toward the mainland. They have formed a republic which is succeeding and they are independent-minded people. They do not need the mainland for anything and do not desire to become a part of China. China has been chomping at the bit to annex them. In my opinion, the US should support their independence as we have since they settled there after the battles on the mainland. They want nothing more than independence and freedom.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    Taiwan & China Foreign Policy has historically been a balancing act and the US has not chosen wisely hence a big contributor to less than ideal relations with China going back to Chiang Kai-shek & Mao Zedong.
    Like (20)
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    Yes! We sold Taiwan out when we normalized relations with China under Nixon. Time to make right what we did. Moreover Taiwan is a republic and therefore we must support their endeavors.
    Like (18)
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    Yes. Anytime we can support free trade and democracy we should.
    Like (16)
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    Taiwan has been our ally for decades. We as a nation need to honor our commitments so that we keep the trust of our other allies throughout the global community.
    Like (14)
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    Yes, we should support Taiwan. China’s leverage in the region will only continue to grow, particularly if the United States continues withdrawing.
    Like (13)
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    Taiwan is our ally and they firmly wish to remain free of Chinese encroachment. We should help and support them.
    Like (13)
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    Taiwan has long been a foe of Communist China. They have long had a system of government that allows free and fair elections. The United States must continue cultural and military support to them. China has long looked across the Straights and feels they have a right to annex Taiwan and we must stand strong in our support of a free Taiwan..
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    Taiwan has been our ally and we need to not abandon another ally. I think that our involvement with Taiwan is responsible and helps provide a balance to China expansionism. I do not advocate ‘poking’ at China, but I do support assuring that Taiwan’s interests are protected diplomatically.
    Like (9)
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    Absolutely
    Like (9)
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    Taiwan can play a key role in China relations. It has been our ally for decades, and we need to stand by our allies instead of fragmenting any more relationships.
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    Taiwan has been our friends & partners for a long time. I was not happy when they lost to China & will have to join China in 2040 I believe. This is unfair I’m so many ways, but for China to try to force them into following Chinese law before the date is wrong. It will be a hollow effort because our country is not in a position to be telling other countries what to do when we don’t have our act together because of Trump
    Like (8)
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    Support Taiwan.
    Like (8)
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    I want peace and cooperation with China, but Taiwan is our ally and needs our support as they try to remain independent and strong. We should express diplomatic support of Taiwan.
    Like (8)
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    Taiwan has been an ally since the Second World War. We don’t need to forget our allies even though there are certain people currently seeking elected office that think we should give money to our enemies and claim it’s good. Vote for this bill
    Like (7)
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    Taiwan is an ally
    Like (7)
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    Yes. I support this proposal.
    Like (7)
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