U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) recently reintroduced a bill designed to enhance the relationship between the United States and Taiwan.
The Taiwan Relations Reinforcement Act would strengthen the relationship between the nations by creating an interagency Taiwan policy task force, elevating the U.S. Representative to Taiwan to a Senate-confirmed position; establishing a U.S.-Taiwan Cultural Exchange Foundation, requiring a report on the Taiwan Travel Act; promoting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations; mandating strategies to protect U.S. businesses and non-government entities from Chinese government coercion; and responding to China’s sharp power operations targeting Taiwan.
“I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill, which seeks to update U.S. policy to better reflect our core values as well as the current realities in the Indo-Pacific region,” Rubio, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing spared no effort to isolate and exclude Taiwan from the World Health Organization. Yet, this fellow democracy and friend showed the world that it could be the model of how to respond to a global health crisis effectively, transparently, and without resorting to draconian restrictions. We must counter the Chinese Communist Party’s relentless campaign to undermine Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”
Merkley, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said the world benefits from stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and U.S. support for Taiwan’s democracy plays a key role in defending the peace.
“The United States and Taiwan share many bedrock values, and we must use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal, as well as our cultural clout, to keep building a robust relationship with Taiwan,” he said.