U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today introduced H.R. 2918, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2011, which complements the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) by strengthening the U.S. relationship with Taiwan. For full bill text, please click Bill Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Taiwan is one of our closest and most important allies, and it is time again for our foreign policy to reflect that. This legislation seeks to reverse the pattern of neglect and inattention by the Obama Administration toward critical U.S.-Taiwan issues.
"In order to protect U.S. national security interests in the Pacific, we must ensure that Taiwan has the capability to defend itself from an attack or coercion by mainland China. The Taiwan Relations Act requires this. It is deeply concerning that the current Administration's commitment to the very foundation of the TRA seems to be faltering, most glaringly through its continued refusal to sell Taiwan next generation F-16s or diesel submarines.
"This bill supports the sale of F-16C/Ds to Taiwan and endorses a wide range of defense exports to the island, and strengthens Congressional oversight of defense transfers to Taiwan. The bill also supports visits by Cabinet-level and other senior Taiwanese leaders to the U.S., reaffirms President Reagan's Six Assurances as guidelines for the conduct of U.S.-Taiwan relations, supports visa waiver treatment for Taiwanese travelers to the United States as soon as all requirements for inclusion in the program are met, and encourages the negotiation of a trade and investment framework agreement and the eventual negotiation of a free trade agreement.
"China must not be allowed to dictate U.S. policy in the Pacific. The Taiwan Relations Act continues to be the bedrock of U.S. policy in the region and this bill will help to reinforce it, and strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan alliance."