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house Bill H.R. 4754

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

Argument in favor

As one of the world’s leading democracies, the U.S. should support Taiwan as a fellow democratic state. Lending Taiwan diplomatic support is especially important in light of the threat that China’s rise and increasingly aggressive posture in Asia pose to Taiwan’s continued existence and peace.

jimK's Opinion
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11/17/2019
It has been our policy to support an independent Taiwan and given China’s building of military bases on islands within contested boundaries of several South China Sea nations, I think it useful to support diplomatic presence in Taiwan- but to do so openly, carefully and honorably. I fear that Taiwan support can be used as another indirect action intended to push China into accepting our terms for resuming trade relations. If trump were to leverage this as pressure to force agreements and sell-out our historic commitment to Taiwan, I think it will be very damaging in the long-term to our country; that we do not honor our commitments nor our allies; that we use indirect schemes to force agreements upon others. Real diplomacy is desperately needed to increase with China as well. We have sold China most of our leverage by letting them manufacture our electronics, much of our hard and soft goods as well as much of our pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical precursors. China is a proud nation and a rapidly growing economic power. We should be diplomatically working on win-win trade agreements and other inter-relations. We can and must do this without compromising our principles or our allies. If we resort to dirty tricks to win the deal we will lose the future because China has direct control of so much of our National Debt, manufacturing base and geopolitically critical natural resources which could easily be ‘weaponized’ to our great detriment if we try to bludgeon them into submitting to our will in trade relations. trump’s trade-mark sledgehammer diplomacy has nothing to do with actual diplomacy. Actual diplomacy is what we need to have with both Taiwan and China.
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11/16/2019
Yes. Taiwan is our ally and friend, China isn’t.
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Robert's Opinion
···
11/16/2019
Taiwan survives under the thumb of communist China. They have been our friend since the end of the Second World War. Without a doubt we should enhance our diplomatic support.
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Argument opposed

Given the fragile state of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, and China’s aggressive position on Taiwan, now isn’t the time for Congress to aggravate China by passing this bill. While it’s important to support democracies around the world, it’s more important to ensure that the U.S. economy isn’t hurt by the trade war.

Caren's Opinion
···
11/17/2019
At present we should wait on trade negotiations until we get things ironed out with China. We don’t want to bring any adverse fallout on Taiwan with a possible trade war that could occur. It is better to wait and pursue something a little later.
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Scott's Opinion
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11/17/2019
This would hurt the chance of a fair trade deal with China and is the democrats attempts
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Francisco's Opinion
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11/17/2019
Colonialism was an unspoken horror for our founders!! So much so that we fought a Revolution to become independent of England in 1776!! A few years later the British Empire tried to subdue us and we again fought to continue to be free in 1812!! In the case of China, it was a very successful dynasty until the 1840 s when The British tried to colonize them unsuccessfully and settled for forcefully selling them opium in return for tea!! The British colonized The Chinese coast and Taiwan and Hong Kong!! England returned the coast as well as more recently Hong Kong under The one country two systems agreement! Taiwan was de-nationalized as PRC (Peoples Republic of China) was recognized as China! This became the One China Policy for the West!! China considers Taiwan Chinese territory because for 5,000 years that was the case. If we continue to interfere with the territorial integrity of China, we are provoking conflict with China!! For some chicken hawks this is a great idea!! For our sons and daughters who will lose their lives in The Pacific if we insist on war , the cost is too high!! China has its sphere of influence in the pacific as our billionaires have neoliberalism in America and Latin America under The Monroe Doctrine!! While I do not agree with the regime change policies of The US in Venezuela, Brazil, and now Bolivia, if China were to interfere militarily to block our nefarious activities in the region I would consider that outrageous and provocative!! Let’s leave China to the Chinese!! We have enough work to do here!!
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What is House Bill H.R. 4754?

This bill — 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 House Bill H.R. 4754

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

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) introduced this bill to strengthen Taiwan’s standing around the world and respond to increased Chinese pressure intended to restrict Taiwan’s international space and global diplomatic recognition:

“My time as a missionary for the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan provided a unique understanding of the history and culture in the region. Almost four decades later, I am still committed to advocating on behalf of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people. Our relationship with Taiwan is an important alliance and we must do all we can to empower their democracy and free-market economy. The TAIPEI Act is bipartisan, doesn’t cost the American taxpayer a cent, and it combats Chinese bullying tactics. Win, win, win.”

After this bill unanimously passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Curtis said

“I am so pleased to see the TAIPEI Act quickly move through the committee. It’s an honor for me to put this bill forward and I hope it’s a very clear message to our friends in Taiwan to say that friendship is reciprocated and that we appreciate their friendship over the many decades. Our relationship with Taiwan is an important alliance and we must do all we can to empower their democracy and free-market economy—I am hopeful that we can soon vote on the House floor in support of this crucial legislation.”

Sen. Cory Garder (R-CO), sponsor of a very similar Senate bill by the same name, says

“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. I applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for advancing this critical bipartisan legislation, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people, as guided by United States law.”

Taiwan’s representative office in the U.S. expressed gratitude for this legislation after its Senate version unanimously passed that chamber. 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 House Foreign Affairs Committee with the support of 37 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 25 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), unanimously passed the Senate with the support of seven bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including five Republicans and two Democrats.  


Of NoteDuring this bill’s hearing on October 23, 2019, Rep. Curtis 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. 

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion, says that China’s poaching of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies is a “major threat” to Taiwanese democracy. He argues that if the U.S. doesn’t stand up to China on Taiwan’s behalf, what’s happening in Hong Kong today is a glimpse into Taiwan’s future.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Niyazz)

AKA

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

Official Title

To express United States support for Taiwan's diplomatic alliances around the world.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedOctober 18th, 2019
    It has been our policy to support an independent Taiwan and given China’s building of military bases on islands within contested boundaries of several South China Sea nations, I think it useful to support diplomatic presence in Taiwan- but to do so openly, carefully and honorably. I fear that Taiwan support can be used as another indirect action intended to push China into accepting our terms for resuming trade relations. If trump were to leverage this as pressure to force agreements and sell-out our historic commitment to Taiwan, I think it will be very damaging in the long-term to our country; that we do not honor our commitments nor our allies; that we use indirect schemes to force agreements upon others. Real diplomacy is desperately needed to increase with China as well. We have sold China most of our leverage by letting them manufacture our electronics, much of our hard and soft goods as well as much of our pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical precursors. China is a proud nation and a rapidly growing economic power. We should be diplomatically working on win-win trade agreements and other inter-relations. We can and must do this without compromising our principles or our allies. If we resort to dirty tricks to win the deal we will lose the future because China has direct control of so much of our National Debt, manufacturing base and geopolitically critical natural resources which could easily be ‘weaponized’ to our great detriment if we try to bludgeon them into submitting to our will in trade relations. trump’s trade-mark sledgehammer diplomacy has nothing to do with actual diplomacy. Actual diplomacy is what we need to have with both Taiwan and China.
    Like (97)
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    At present we should wait on trade negotiations until we get things ironed out with China. We don’t want to bring any adverse fallout on Taiwan with a possible trade war that could occur. It is better to wait and pursue something a little later.
    Like (8)
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    Yes. Taiwan is our ally and friend, China isn’t.
    Like (36)
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    Taiwan survives under the thumb of communist China. They have been our friend since the end of the Second World War. Without a doubt we should enhance our diplomatic support.
    Like (32)
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    No matter the Illusion of the “One China” policy. Reality is that Taiwan and China are separated. I’m not sure why we bother to still maintain the fiction. It’s like trying to stay friends with both members of a ugly bitter divorce. Support Taiwan! 🇹🇼
    Like (16)
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    America has to support Taiwan
    Like (15)
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    Yes they been a ally since the 1950’s and need our support
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    Any and every pushback against the largest threat to democracy globally: China.
    Like (11)
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    As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions! Taiwan is The Rightful National Government in Exile as when the Communists staged a brutal takeover after WWII! General Chung Kai Chek took the government to the island of Formosa off shore and established the Free Government there! The United States should have never recognized any Communist Nation or do business with it! The People’s Republic is our Sworn Enemy and They swore it and continue to do to this day! I Urge the Free World to condemn China in its current actions in the South China Sea, Coral Sea and Philippines! They are picking on their neighbors and bullying them in a bad way and the News Media does not report this! This is Your Next War Everybody! We were sold down by Globalists in our own government long ago! Nixon and Henry Kissinger Especially! Nixon didn’t have a clue actually! It was all Kissinger! A Globalist in a very secret society!
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    Formosa has been independent ever since Chaing Kaishek was run out of China by Mao and they formed an Independent country. We have supported them ever since and should support them again. Right along with all those under SEATO Agreement.
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    Although we’re currently stumbling at home and abroad in our role as chief exponent and promoter of democratic values, we can and should do what’s right when possible. There will be those who will call us out for hypocrisy as we very publicly reassess our expectations of our own Republic. Sometimes, hypocrisy is a snapshot of a nation captured in a moment of change. Hopefully for the better.
    Like (8)
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    Trade and making money should not be our only goals. Helping a fledgling democracy maintain its independence from China, should be a priority.
    Like (6)
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    Yes! With the rise of Communist China it is imperative that we support democratic states in Asia. We need to make sure that our Asian allies know we’re here to support freedom in Asia. We have to counter China and the faux promise of one China two systems.
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    Thanks JimK - good common sense.
    Like (5)
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    Yes, we have a long wonderful history with Taiwan, and should always be improved and strengthened.
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    We must support democracies around the world and continue to follow set policy toward Taiwan.
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    China has no reason to annex Taiwan and this aggression is purely a form of a wave of nationalism in China. Taiwan deserves to decide how it runs its country without a looming threat above its head.
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    Taiwan is its own country. It is not part of China. China wants to absorb as much land as possible. They took over Tibet with no resistance from anyone. Now they are trying to destroy the culture of the Uighurs. They need to be stopped. The world needs to put up a bar to stop them.
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    This is a tuff one for me, but YES, I fully believe that we should be providing diplomatic support to Taiwan. But let’s be clear and honest about our support... we have become the whore of the world by supporting any regime as long as it is economically friendly to us; we have pulled out of agreements, we have failed to defend our allies and we have verbally attacked our allies at every opportunity while at the same time winking at our adversaries. So the question for me is, how seriously would a diplomatic commitment by the Trump administration be and how seriously would it be viewed and taken? The Kurds sure thought that we were committed, until someone more important came along. OK, we’re in a self- inflicted trade war trade war with China which has already significantly hurt both the US and China as well as the world economy. In this, I believe that the president will allow us to bleed for as long as possible before making a big announcement about a tremendous deal, conveniently close to election time while continuing to tear down the independence of the Federal Reserve as much as possible; Wall Street will be blissfully happy and Lindsey Graham will tell us that the pain of the trade war was a worthwhile and patriotic venture. Will a diplomatic commitment to Taiwan anger China? Sure, but ultimately I feel that China has just as much to lose as the US. Let’s also be clear here, regardless of the administration’s crap explanations, tariffs do NOT get paid to the US Treasury; the American consumer ultimately pays the cost at purchase which is really the cost of American companies having been subsidized and incentivized for years with our tax dollars to move production to China, ostensibly to become more competitive (i.e. more profitable to investors do lobbying has of course played a big part). The US remains in the front position only because our debt is still considered to be the safest in the world. And having ‘safe’ debt combined with the US dollar as the world currency places us firmly in the driver’s seat because it allows us an ability that other nations don’t possess - the ability to print more world currency - US dollars. While on the surface it seems foolish to aggravate China even more at a time when an ill-planned trade war is going on, beware, if the US dollar falls out of favor, and there are moves world wide to make this a reality, Secretary Mnuchin can print and and print and print (and he and his trophy wife can do black leather glove photo ops with sheets of money) yet all it will do is take us further down the trap. It’s true, China is the largest owner of US debt, owning about 5.3% of it. That’s about $1.2 trillion! But don’t be fooled; China is also very smart. For China, ‘long term’ means 30 or 50 years, while for the US, ‘long term’ is always short sighted, meaning until the next election. China is as tied to the value of US debt as the US is to tied to their continued buying of it. Take the chance, stand for what’s right. Provide diplomatic support to Taiwan. But if we offer the support, we must be FULLY committed while knowing it may ruffle a few Chinese feathers along the way.
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    YEA
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