STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, U.S. SENATOR,
STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS, ON JOINT RESOLUTION ON
TAIWAN (S.J. RES. 31)
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to submit this statement in support of S.J. Res. 31, cosponsored by Senator Alan Cranston in the Senate and Rep. Lester Wolff in the House of Representatives, regarding the "peace, prosperity, and welfare of the people on Taiwan and the Pescadores."
Twenty-eight Senators have now joined us in cosponsoring this resolution, and I understand that an equally substantial number of Congressmen have now joined Congressman Wolff in cosponsoring the same Resolution in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Chairman, I welcome the broad base of support, ranging across the political spectrum, which is reflected in the cosponsorship of this Resolution. I believe this demonstrates understanding in the Congress that, as we normalize relations with the People's Republic of China, we can and should provide for the future peace and well-being of Taiwan.
If the Congress enacts both this Resolution and the omnibus legislation submitted by the President, I am confident that our ties with the people on Taiwan will not only remain unimpaired, but will actually be enhanced in the months and years ahead.
First, our ties should be unimpaired because they should remain the same in substance even though they change in form. The Administration's legislation provides for substantive continuity in "commercial, cultural and other relations," on unofficial instead of official terms. Our Joint Resolution provides for substantial continuity in the vital security sphere, also on unofficial terms.
Second, our ties should actually be enhanced because we have finally removed Taiwan as a diplomatic issue between China and the United States. No longer do the Chinese feel duty-bound to object to official relations based on our past pretense that the government of 17 million controls a nation of almost one billion. In turn, the Chinese have agreed to continued unofficial ties between us and Taiwan—ties which should expand and strengthen just as Japan's did after it normalized relations on the same basis in 1972. It is no accident that Japanese trade with Taiwan as well as with the mainland has quintupled since normalization, from roughly $1 billion each in 1971 to over $5 billion each in 1978.
We look forward, Mr. Chairman, to working with you and the Committee in incorporating the areas covered by our Resolution in the legislative package to be submitted to both Houses of Congress. Indeed, we favor developing a single package with both security and non-security elements, which incorporates the Administration's proposals as well as our own. Whatever the final shape of the package, we hope that it will reflect the following elements which constitute the core of our approach:
Confirmation of our continuing interest in the peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue;
Provision for continuing defensive arms sales to Taiwan;
Consultation between the Executive and Legislative Branches on any danger to the peace, prosperity, and welfare of Taiwan; and
Provision for meeting any such danger in accordance with our Constitutional processes and legislative requirements, including the War Powers Act.
This approach is consistent with the agreed terms of normalization. Unlike other proposals, it does not involve official relations with Taipei, which would contradict our recognition of Peking as the sole legal government of China. Nor does it permit unilateral action by the President, without necessary Congressional participation. Nor does it commit our country to specific actions under hypothetical circumstances—a policy which successive Presidents and Congresses have wisely refused to adopt.
Instead, we should do no more nor less than our existing security commitments to allies in Europe and Asia. Article V of our 1954 treaty with Taiwan provides for the United States to "act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes." It does not provide for unilateral Presidential action, and it does not commit us to specific actions under hypothetical circumstances. Similarly, our Joint Resolution provides for Presidential consultation with the Congress and confirms the policy of the United States to act to meet any danger to Taiwan "in accordance with its constitutional processes and procedures established by law."
What this approach does accomplish is Congressional reinforcement of the President's welcome declarations on the peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue by the Chinese themselves. The capabilities and policies of both Taipei and Peking now contribute to such a prospect. So will a Congressional expression of confidence and readiness to act in even the unlikely event of a danger to the peaceful well-being of Taiwan.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Goldwater and others have argued that the President lacked authority to give one year's notice of termination of our mutual defense treaty with Taiwan—in spite of that treaty's explicit provision for such termination under its Article X, which states that "Either party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other Party. " I have carefully examined the constitutional and historical basis of these objections and I am personally convinced the President had full authority to take the actions he did to normalize relations with Peking, including termination of the defense treaty with Taipei.
While focusing on the exact terms of normalization for both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, I believe that we should all bear in mind the broader context in which these terms have become possible. There are some who say that normalization was a reflection of American weakness. I say the opposite. Normalization is a reflection of American strength: Our strength to recognize the reality of nearly one billion people controlled not by Taipei but by Peking. Our strength to act with responsibility to the 17 million people on Taiwan, with whom we have enjoyed close ties for over three decades. Our strength to consolidate and strengthen relations with the creative, industrious and rapidly modernizing Chinese people, and thus to contribute to the peace and stability not only of Asia but of the World.
It is in that framework of confidence and strength that we can take the right steps to maintain a full, unofficial relationship with the people of Taiwan in an environment of enhanced security and peace for all of us.
RECOGNIZING 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT
(House of Representatives - March 24, 2009)
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 55) recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, as amended.
The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.
The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:
H. Con. Res. 55
Whereas April 10, 2009, will mark the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8), codifying in law the basis for continued commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and the Republic of China (Taiwan);
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait since its enactment in 1979;
Whereas when the Taiwan Relations Act was enacted, it affirmed that the United States' decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China was based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined by peaceful means;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act declares that peace and stability in the area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act states that it is the policy of the United States to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character to maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan;
Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act also states that ``it is the policy of the United States to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural and other relations between the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on the China mainland'';
Whereas the relationship between the United States and Taiwan has strengthened with--
(1) Taiwan's evolution into a free society and a full-fledged, multi-party democracy;
(2) the development of Taiwan's robust free-market economy;
(3) Taiwan's determined effort and collaboration with the United States to combat global terrorism, as demonstrated in part by its participation in the Container Security Initiative and its generous contribution to the Pentagon Memorial Fund; and
(4) the leadership role Taiwan has demonstrated in addressing transnational and global challenges, including its active engagement in humanitarian relief measures, public health endeavors, environmental protection initiatives, and financial market stabilization efforts; and
Whereas Taiwan's democracy has deepened with the second peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another after the presidential election in March 2008: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act as the cornerstone of relations between the United States and Taiwan;
(2) reaffirms its support for Taiwan's democratic institutions; and
(3) supports the strong and deepening relationship between the United States and Taiwan.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Berman) and the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?
There was no objection.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the resolution and yield myself as much time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, this resolution recognizes the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act 30 years ago and reaffirms congressional support for that law. I would like to thank my good friend, Representative Shelley Berkley of Nevada, for her leadership both as cochair of the Taiwan Caucus and as the chief sponsor of this resolution.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 forms the official basis for friendship and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan. It has been instrumental in maintaining peace and security across the Taiwan Straits and in East Asia. Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has evolved into a robust and lively democracy. The U.S.-Taiwan relationship, once based solely on shared interests, is now based on shared values.
This remarkable political evolution proves beyond any doubt that the notion of ``Asian values,'' often used to justify one-man or one-party rule, is a fallacy. Taiwan's democratic ideals have become even more engrained in its national identity following its second peaceful transfer of power in last year's presidential election.
Taiwan has also developed into a vibrant free-market economy and a major trading partner of the United States. Taiwan's impressive political and economic achievements give it the potential to play a very constructive role in international affairs. I would urge that special consideration be given to Taiwan's desire to gain observer status at the World Health Assembly later this spring.
Taiwan has extremely important social and economic ties with China, and it would benefit both governments to take additional steps towards reducing cross-Strait tensions. The act was enacted 30 years ago with the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined only by peaceful means. It is encouraging that China's top leadership recently stated that it was ready to hold talks with Taiwan to create conditions for ending hostilities and concluding a peace agreement between the two sides.
I applaud this development and urge China to do more to reach out to both the government and the people of Taiwan. I'm confident that the Taiwan Relations Act will remain the cornerstone of our very close friendship with Taiwan. I strongly support this resolution. I encourage my colleagues to do the same.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, to start the discussion on our side of the aisle, I'm honored to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Florida, my colleague, Mr.Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who is the co-chair of the House Taiwan Caucus as well as a prime sponsor of this important resolution.
Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank my distinguished colleague for the time.
I am honored to speak on this resolution commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. This resolution reaffirms the United States' commitment to the Republic of China on Taiwan and describes the Taiwan Relations Act as the ``cornerstone'' of U.S.-Taiwan relations.
The Taiwan Relations Act stresses the concept of peace through strength. It has served as a key impediment to Communist Chinese military aggression and its attempts at forced reunification under communism with the people on Taiwan.
As Members of the United States Congress, we will do all that is necessary so that the Republic of China on Taiwan continues to have the tools it needs to defend itself. This resolution is especially important because over the past 30 years, through six administrations, Congress has remained a steady and loyal friend and ally of the Republic of China on Taiwan. The strong support of Congress was evident once again by the fact that over 120 Members of Congress rushed to lend their name to this resolution in less than 1 month. As the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act is just a few weeks away, the action by the United States Congress today reaffirms, once again, the close relationship between Taiwan and the United States.
Although the Republic of China on Taiwan has achieved the tremendous economic successes of a flourishing market-based economy and one of the highest standards of living in the world, the U.S.-Taiwan friendship rests on much more than shared economic interests and trade. Our friendship stems from a shared commitment to the fundamental ideals of the rule of law, freedom and opposition to totalitarianism.
The United States of America must never waiver in our support of the Republic of China on Taiwan. We must, and we will, continue to remind the world that Taiwan's security is of the utmost importance to the United States Congress, to the American Government, and to the American people.
I have always had tremendous admiration for the Republic of China, for its history in China and its renaissance on Taiwan. And I look forward to continuing to work to deepen cooperation between the United States and the Republic of China on Taiwan.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to yield 2 minutes to the sponsor of the resolution, the gentlelady from Nevada (Ms. Berkley).
Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for his extraordinary leadership on this resolution. I would also like to thank the delegate from American Samoa and the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee for their support on this important resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the cochairman of the Taiwan Caucus and as a prime sponsor in support of this resolution and in support of our growing and continuing relationship with Taiwan. Three decades ago, Congress declared that the U.S. would stand with Taiwan against any use of force that would jeopardize its security. We have kept our commitment, and we can now proudly commemorate this historic anniversary marking 30 years of an ever-strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relationship.
For 30 years, the Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Over that period, Taiwan has transformed itself into a vibrant democracy, holding several free and fair elections along with two peaceful transitions of power. Taiwan is an inspiring story of expanding freedom, a robust capitalist economy and a strong trading partner of the United States. We must do everything in our power to continue protecting it and ensuring its survival.
As Taiwan enters a new era in cross-Strait relations and faces new economic and security challenges, Congress today reaffirms, through this resolution, its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, to Taiwan's democracy and to our deep, long-standing friendship.
I thank the gentleman once again.
I urge support for the resolution.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I would now like to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton), who is the ranking member of our Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I won't take the whole 2 minutes.
I think everything that is going to be said about the Republic of China on Taiwan can be boiled down to just a few words. They are our true friend. They have been with us through thick and thin. There have been times when we haven't been as good a friend to them as I think we should have been. But they have always been there for us. Ever since they left the mainland and went to Taiwan, they have been a strong free country that has grown into one of the biggest economic countries in the entire world, certainly one of our greatest trading partners.
So I would just like to say that I am very happy to be here to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and to say to all of my friends, all of our friends in Taiwan, thank you, thank you, thank you for being such great friends.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers on the floor now, so I will reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I would now like to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Florida, my colleague, Mr. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is also a sponsor of this resolution.
Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlelady from Florida, and also all the sponsors of this legislation.
I rise today in recognition of the 30th anniversary of this landmark legislation, the Taiwan Relations Act. It codifies into law the basis for the continued special relationship between the United States and the Republic of China on Taiwan. Our two nations share so many common beliefs and values. We both cherish freedom, human rights and democracy.
And last year, during the most recent Presidential election, they once again showed that, yes, of course they are a true, vibrant democracy. The Republic of China on Taiwan continues to be our strong ally on the war on terrorism. And they continuously prove that they are a true partner of the people of the United States of America.
Now contrast that, Mr. Speaker, with what just took place a month ago when the Communist Chinese dictatorship sent a number of ships to harass an unarmed U.S. Naval surveillance ship. This provocative action, and many others like it, should serve as a cause for concern when dealing with that nation that regularly violates human rights. Again, that highlights the importance that the people of Taiwan know and[Page: H3779]
that the world knows the United States Congress stands with this strong and proud democracy.
Again, Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for this resolution, for having the opportunity to support this resolution, and make sure that our friends in Taiwan understand that Congress stands with them, really stands with them.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce), the ranking member of our Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.
Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution, which recognizes the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. This is a historic occasion. Taiwan, of course, is a beacon of democracy in Asia. We have a strong partnership that stretches back over half a century with this country. Today our relations remain strong, as Taiwan is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in Asia.
This was signed 30 years ago, and the Taiwan Relations Act laid into the law the basis for the continued commercial, cultural and defense relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan. As this resolution states, it has been instrumental in maintaining the peace, the security and the stability in the Taiwan Straits.
While this resolution highlights many of the positive attributes of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, language detailing our important economic relationship was regrettably struck. As the original version states, Taiwan is the ninth largest trading partner of the U.S., with United States exports totaling over $26 billion. Imports from Taiwan are important too.
The truth is that trade is very important to Taiwanese security. Security isn't based on weapons alone.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I yield an additional 1 minute to the gentleman from California.
Mr. ROYCE. I suspect it is wishful thinking with this administration, but I would like to see movement on a trade agreement with Taiwan. Certainly, if we throw up trade barriers, it would do much to destabilize Taiwan's economy. We shouldn't give trade short shrift.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, we have no further requests for time, so I will reserve to the ranking member.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support as an original cosponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 55. This resolution recognizes the Taiwan Relations Act as the cornerstone of the unbreakable relations which exist today between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.
The Taiwan Relations Act stands out as one of the key pieces of foreign policy legislation passed by Congress in the 20th century.
Congress was prompted to act by the decision of President Jimmy Carter to suddenly cut off, as of January 1, 1979, our historic relations with a traditional ally, and to provide nothing further for its continued security nor defensive needs.
Taiwan has stood with the United States, both during the Second World War and in the Cold War, yet little thought was given to the fate of the then approximately 18 million people living on the island. Is this the way to treat an old friend? The response from the House of Representatives 30 years ago was a resounding ``no.''
On March 28, 1979, the House passed the Taiwan Relations Act by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 339-50. It is this anniversary that we commemorate this coming Saturday and, in so doing, Mr. Speaker, reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and our support for the defensive needs of the Taiwanese people.
Thirty years ago Taiwan was put forward as the sacrificial lamb for our own apprehensions, ready to be surrendered to Beijing's unyielding demands. The Taiwan Relations Act put an end to that defeatist way of thinking.
In the three decades since the Taiwan Relations Act, Mr. Speaker, the economic and democratic evolution of Taiwan has been beyond even the most optimistic projections at that time. Taiwan's robust, free-market economy made the island the ninth largest trading partner of the United States in 2007.
Taiwan, as a young democracy with a record of two peaceful transitions of power, is blossoming amidst a sea of Chinese communism. It has become a beacon of hope to all who aspire to democracy in the Chinese cultural world.
Now, more than ever, we must ensure that our robust ties with the people of Taiwan are maintained and even strengthened. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that the people of Taiwan are provided with defensive weapons needed to ensure that no sudden change in the status quo by the use of force undermines their political aspirations. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that Congress is fully consulted on a regular basis on both our overall relations with Taiwan, and our planned future arms sales.
The best means to achieve these goals, Mr. Speaker, is through overwhelming Congressional support for this resolution as a sign of our unwavering recommitment to the Taiwan Relations Act on its 30th anniversary.
Let us send a strong, unequivocal message to Beijing that we are unwavering in our commitment to democracy, to free markets, and to the people of Taiwan. Now more than ever, we must all stand by Taiwan on this important anniversary.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise as a proud co-sponsor of H. Con. Res. 55 and I want to commend Chairman Faleomavaega and Ranking Member Manzullo for moving this timely resolution forward.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Since 1979, the TRA's clarity of purpose as the framer of U.S.-Taiwan relations and its singular role in shaping our relationship with the Peoples Republic of China has few equals in terms of foreign policy legislation produced by the Congress.
Under the TRA, Taiwan, and I dare say the mainland, have both prospered and are vastly different places from what they were before the TRA was enacted. The TRA has facilitated Taiwan's evolution into a full-fledged, multiparty democracy with a robust free market economy. And as Taiwan has evolved domestically, its role internationally has changed as well. Taiwan is an active participant in addressing transnational threats and has been deeply engaged in humanitarian relief efforts, addressing public health and environmental protection initiative as well as financial stabilization efforts.
The resolution before the subcommittee today reaffirms the unwavering support of the United States Congress for Taiwan, its democratic institutions, and urges a deeper and stronger relationship between the United States and Taiwan. These are sentiments with which we can all agree, so I urge my colleagues to support the resolution.
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution recognizing one of our strongest partners in business and in democracy, Taiwan. I would like to thank my colleague Shelley Berkley of Nevada for her continued strong leadership on issues affecting Taiwan, and Asia in general.
Whether you refer to it as the Republic of China, Formosa or Taiwan, this is a free society that has been a beacon of light and freedom in the Taiwan Strait.
April 10, 2009 will mark the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, codifying in law the basis for continued commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and the Republic of China, or Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait since its enactment in 1979.
When the Taiwan Relations Act was enacted, it affirmed that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China was based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined by peaceful means. I truly believe that all of Asia wants the future of Taiwan to be peaceful and that this glorious society continues to be a beacon of light, freedom and commercial opportunity.
My district in Texas is home to a very strong Taiwanese American community, and while I understand that Texas is not known for it's Asian population, it is very vital and an important part of the tapestry of diversity that the state of Texas must get recognition for.
The Taiwan Relations Act makes it a policy of the United States to provide defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. Our continued desire is that these articles remain unused.
The Taiwan Relations Act also makes it a policy of the United States to maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other[Page: H3780]
forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan. That is why we must remain vigilant on what happens in the Taiwan Strait. This is still one of the most peaceful and prosperous areas of the world. It also has one of the most steadily growing populations.
Taiwan's democracy has deepened with the second peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another after the presidential election in March 2008. The new President has made it a point of fostering an atmosphere of peace and.harmony, while seeking to secure Taiwan's place as an economic growth engine. This is particularly important when the global economy is faltering.
The relationship between the United States and Taiwan has strengthened with Taiwan's evolution into a free society and a full-fledged, multi-party democracy and the development of Taiwan's robust free-market economy, with Taiwan becoming the 9th largest trading partner of the United States in 2007 and imports from the United States in that year totaling over $26 billion. Our economic and trading relationship is one of our most important to both Taiwan and to the United States.
Also Taiwan's determined effort and collaboration with the United States to combat global terrorism, as demonstrated in part by its participation in the Container Security Initiative and its generous contribution to the Pentagon Memorial Fund are further evidence of our strong partnership.
I would also cite the leadership role Taiwan has demonstrated in addressing transnational and global challenges, including its active engagement in humanitarian relief measures, public health endeavors, environmental protection initiatives, and financial market stabilization efforts.
These reasons are why it is important that we continue to pursue peace and harmony in this region and why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made Asia her first overseas trip in her new role. The symbolism is not lost on our Asian partners and why we must support this resolution.
I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
Mr. WEXLER. Mr. Speaker, I want to join my colleagues in recognizing the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act and America's commitment to U.S.-Taiwan relations and supporting H. Con. Res. 55.
As many of my colleagues know, the Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait since its enactment in 1979. Over the past 30 years, Taiwan has evolved into a model democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law. It has also transformed into one the world's most dynamic economies and is counted among America's most important trading partners. To that end, it is critical that the United States Congress continue to highlight the importance of the TRA and take further steps to enhance our overall partnership with Taiwan which has been mutually beneficial for generations in both America and Taiwan.
As a member of Congress who believes the United States should foster this relationship and create new avenues of cooperation, it is important in the context of this anniversary to recognize the bold efforts of Taiwanese President Ying-jeou Ma to bring peace and stability to the Taiwan Strait. I welcome President Ma's efforts and the progress he has made to reduce tensions and to extend an olive branch to Beijing. While the issues that separate Taipei and Beijing are significant and the road ahead difficult, it is important for President Ma to fulfill his stated vision and continue to pursue a policy that lays down the ``foundation for a century of peace and prosperity'' in the region.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I was recently privileged to become one of the co-chairs of the House Taiwan Caucus, and I look forward to working to strengthen our country's relationship with Taiwan through the efforts of the Caucus.
Just this week, I was also pleased to have met Ambassador Yuan and Director General Tseng down at the Georgia Capitol where the Ambassador was being honored by the Georgia General Assembly.
I rise today in strong support of House Concurrent Resolution 55, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. As stated in this resolution, the Taiwan Relations Act has served as the cornerstone of America's relationship with Taiwan since its enactment in 1979.
This resolution recognizes ``Taiwan's evolution into a free society and a full-fledged, multi-party democracy.'' As the 9th largest trading partner of the United States in 2007, Taiwan has demonstrated its commitment to work with the United States and to collaborate on a range of issues--especially in regards to combating global terrorism.
Mr. Speaker, Taiwan has also made clear its commitment to give back to the global community through humanitarian relief an other contributions to help stabilize global financial markets.
Mr. Speaker, in recognition of this milestone anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, I ask all of my colleagues to join me in reaffirming our support for Taiwan's democratic institutions and commitment to our strong friendship with Taiwan.
Ms. BORDALLO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of passage of House Concurrent Resolution 55 a resolution recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. The Taiwan Relations Act's passage in 1979 marked an important law that allowed for continued cultural and economic relations with the people of Taiwan. The resolution we are considering, H. Con. Res. 55, reasserts Congressional intent on this very important relationship. The Taiwan Relations Act helped the United States continue to foster a greater partnership that has resulted in economic benefits and stability for both of our people and that has contributed to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
I appreciate the partnership that the people of Taiwan have with the people of Guam. The Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office on Guam, Mr. Vince Tsai, has been a valuable member of our island community and I appreciate his office's continued involvement with our local community in many social, business and civic activities. I also want to thank my good friend Congresswoman SHELLEY BERKLEY from Nevada for introducing this resolution and for her continued interest in Asian-Pacific affairs. I believe that this resolution will continue to encourage and foster the friendship and beneficial relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan, as the Taiwan Relations Act envisioned thirty years ago.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I urge strong support for the resolution, an ``aye'' vote, and yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Berman) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 55, as amended.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the concurrent resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
STATEMENT OF HON. ALAN CRANSTON, U.S. SENATOR,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ON JOINT RESOLUTION
REGARDING TAIWAN (H.J. RES. 167)
I am pleased to have the opportunity to submit this statement on the omnibus legislation concerning the future of United States relations with the people on Taiwan and the Pescadores.
The President's decision to establish full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China was a necessary decision—a decision based on the simple recognition that the Peking government is the actual government of some 900 million Chinese. I support the President's realistic decision.
The United States and Taiwan have had a long and valued friendship. I fully support the continuation of the close educational, cultural, scientific and commercial ties between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan. As the United States enters an era of official relations with the People's Republic of China, we must maintain and preserve our relations with Taiwan, but now through unofficial, but no less substantive means. Therefore, I am generally pleased with the legislation that the Administration has submitted for the continuance of economic, cultural, scientific, educational, and commercial bonds with Taiwan.
However, I believe there is a significant element absent from the Administration proposal. Because of the importance of the overall security of Taiwan and the Pescadores, Senator Kennedy and I, along with 27 other Senators, introduced a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 31) which requires action by the President and Congress to maintain the peace, prosperity, and welfare of the people on Taiwan. Such action will be taken by the President and Congress in accordance with constitutional processes and procedures established by law in the event of any danger to the interests, concerns and expectations of the United States in the peace, prosperity, and welfare of Taiwan.
A similar joint resolution was concurrently introduced by Congressman Wolff in the House and is now before this Committee (H.J. Res. 167).
The White House and the Congress appear to have a difference of opinion regarding the necessity of such a resolution. The White House (although perhaps not the State Department) believes the resolution is unnecessary presumably because it believes the agreement President Carter reached with the Chinese government adequately assures the security of Taiwan. I support the United States-China agreement and believe it is adequate for the security of Taiwan. But it is not so perceived by some members of Congress as evidenced by the number of other Taiwan resolutions which have been introduced. Nor is it so perceived by much of the American public as evidenced by the polls. The corresponding resolution Senator Kennedy and I have introduced in the Senate and the resolution here considered are intended to correct any misperception that recognition of the Peking government is automatically translated as abandonment of Taiwan. Resolutions spell out what the United States-China agreement implies, but leaves unsaid.
I am encouraged that Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, during his recent visit to our nation's capitol, reiterated the wish of his government that the issue of Taiwan's reunification be resolved peacefully. I do not think it serves anyone's interest to settle it by any other means. The Chinese are known for their patience, as the Chinese leader has stated. The Chinese are also proud. I believe it is more out of national pride and sovereignty that Peking will not rule out the use of force against Taiwan then because force is a viable option. But since the People's Republic of China will not give an express pledge not to use force against Taiwan, the United States should refrain from closing its own options to respond—in the unlikely event that force is used. Our resolution is designed to maintain security for the people on Taiwan and to retain the U.S. option of flexible response.
The United States has stated that it expects the issue of Taiwan's reunification with China will be accomplished peacefully. The resolution is not intended as a warning to Peking—unless that be necessary—but as an assurance to the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan who are concerned about the security of Taiwan. It is important, now, at the outset of a new relationship with China, that this concern be clearly expressed by Congress.
The resolutions clearly express the concern of Congress for the people of Taiwan, and provide assurances for the continued peace, prosperity, and welfare of the people on Taiwan and the Pescadores. These resolutions enjoy the broad bipartisan support of both the House and the Senate. In the Senate, the list of cosponsors now numbers 29 and includes Senators Baucus, Bayh, Bentsen, Biden, Bumpers, Durkin, Eagleton, Exon, Gravel, Hayakawa, Inouye, Johnston, Levin, McGovern, Metzenbaum, Nelson, Pell, Pressler, Proxmire, Randolph, Ribicoff, Sasser, Stafford, Stennis, Stevenson, Tsongas, and Williams. And I understand that in the House some 100 members are cosponsors.
I think such a resolution is necessary and appropriate. And I think that the White House will accept such a joint resolution as law when passed by both the House and the Senate. I hope that you of this committee in your deliberations will concur and recommend the resolution favorably to the full House or incorporate its substance in whatever legislation you report concerning our future relations with Taiwan.
Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Speaker, April 10th marked the 37th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act. This landmark legislation, one of Congress' great achievements, has guaranteed and continues to guarantee ongoing relations with our friend and partner, Taiwan.
Taiwan's President Ma made a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) Hsie Nian Fan celebration on March 30th, 2016. In the speech, President Ma pointed out that in the US-based Global Finance magazine's ratings of the world's richest countries from November of last year, Taiwan ranked 19th out of 185 countries worldwide. That put Taiwan right behind Germany, and far ahead of countries like France, Great Britain, Japan, and South Korea. Additionally, in the 2015 global competitiveness ratings published by the Institute of Management Development (IMD), in Lausanne, Switzerland, Taiwan ranked No. 11 in the world and No. 3 in the Asia-Pacific Region. Taiwan has created an enviable and thriving innovative economy. I give praise to President Ma's leadership. The United States and Taiwan enjoy a longstanding relationship that stems from our shared values: democracy, the rule of law, and free enterprise. Taiwan is a strong economic partner--in fact they are now our 9th-largest trading partner. In 2014, Colorado's exports to Taiwan reached $191.5 million. Taiwan is Colorado's 7th largest export market in Asia, and 14th largest export market in the world. Colorado companies have substantial opportunities to expand their business and cooperation with Taiwan. Equally important are the Taiwanese-Americans living in Colorado and the wealth of knowledge and entrepreneurial energy they bring.
I offer my warmest and best wishes to the people of Taiwan on this 37th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. I also extend my congratulations to Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her victory in the Taiwanese Presidential election. I look forward to the continued and growing friendship and partnership between the United States and Taiwan.
37TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT (TRA) -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 14, 2016)
SPEECH OF HON. STEVE KING OF IOWA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2016
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize a very important day in U.S.-Taiwan relations. April 10th marked the 37th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). This important statute has been critical in defining the diplomatic, economic, and strategic relationship we have enjoyed with Taiwan over the last four decades. In 2015, Taiwan became the United States' ninth largest trading partner. The TRA has strengthened our relationship and helped to encourage a particularly strong economic partnership.
On March 30, 2016, Taiwan President Ma gave a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) Hsie Nian Fan celebration. In his speech, President Ma pointed out that, in the U.S.-based Global Finance magazine's ratings of the world's richest countries from November of last year, Taiwan ranked 19th out of 185 countries worldwide. That put Taiwan right behind Germany, and far ahead of countries like France, Great Britain, Japan, and South Korea. And in the 2015 global competitiveness ratings published by the Institute of Management Development (IMD), based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Taiwan ranked 11th in the world, and third in the Asia-Pacific Region. Taiwan has created a thriving and innovative economy that most countries envy.
The growth of Taiwan is a living, breathing example that trade benefits humanity--and not just economically. President Ma highlighted the East China Sea Peace Initiative, which aimed to address sovereignty disputes in the region in 2012. Subsequently, in 2013, Taiwan signed a fisheries agreement with Japan. Both nations maintained their sovereignty while enhancing fishing rights, which resulted in a triple yield of catches. And that's good for a world in which the demand for fish keeps rising.
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to a continuing successful cooperation between the United States and Taiwan. I am also confident that if we continue to enhance our economic relationship, this dynamic partnership that we've built together will not only last but also thrive in the future, working alongside one another to, as President Ma quipped, realize the day in which ``The only one party which is not happy is the fish.''
THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT -- HON. MIKE COFFMAN (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2016)
HON. MIKE COFFMAN OF COLORADO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, April 18, 2016
For interpretation of the TRA, please email Former Congressman Lester Wolff (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mr. Wolff was one of the original authors of the TRA back in 1979.
COMMEMORATING THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2016)
SPEECH OF HON. JIM COSTA OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2016
Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) is not only our close economic and security partner but a friend with whom we share many principles and values. Signed into law in 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act established the legal basis for our bilateral relations with Taiwan. I am pleased to say the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship has continued to expand and grow stronger over the past thirty-seven years. As President Ma Ying-jeou remarked during The American Chamber of Commerce 2016 Annual Hsieh Nien Fan Gala, this relationship has also reaped benefits for the peaceful state of the East Asia and Asia-Pacific regions: ``First, the development of Taiwan-U.S. relations and the trilateral interaction involving the U.S., Taiwan, and the mainland over the past eight years have led to the warmest relations in more than 60 years.''
In a recent trip to Taiwan, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand our shared values and our close economic ties. In 2015, Taiwan was the United States' 9th largest trading partner and the bilateral trade between the United States and Taiwan reached $67.4 billion. My home state of California has also benefited from the strong commercial partnership. For example, in 2014, California's export to Taiwan reached $7.46 billion, making Taiwan California's 5th largest export market in Asia and 7th largest export market in the world.
Additionally, as we recently recognized the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II, it is appropriate to remember Taiwan's important contributions to the alliance that defeated fascist militarism. The United States and Taiwan work closely and that partnership continued as the United States helped Taiwan to overcome challenges and thrive following the end of the fighting.
As a friend of Taiwan, I look forward to continuing to promote policies that reaffirm our mutual commitment to democratic and economic development. I urge my colleagues to join me in commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.
35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT
(Extensions of Remarks - April 01, 2014)
HON. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, 35 years ago next week, on April 10, 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) codified America's commitment to our democratic ally Taiwan. Since then, this watershed legislation has served as an anchor for peace and security in the Western Pacific region and the cornerstone of close defense, economic, and cultural relations between our peoples. The TRA serves the interests of both of our nations by fostering United States power in the Pacific and allowing the people of Taiwan to sustain a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous way of life by mandating the availability of necessary U.S. defense articles and materials to enable a sufficient Taiwanese self-defense capability to counter Chinese aggression.
In 1979, there was much consternation in Washington that American security and economic interests in Taiwan would be neglected by President Carter's unjust decision to recognize the People's Republic of China and derecognize the Republic of China (Taiwan). The TRA was enacted to address these concerns and its guidelines now govern, in the absence of diplomatic relations, nearly every facet of U.S. relations with Taiwan. In the face of a hostile military posture by China, the new law helped level the defense capabilities across the Strait so that Taiwan's future could be determined by peaceful means.
China's rapidly increasing defense budget and provocations in the East and South China Seas are evidence of China's regional hegemonic ambitions. In order to counter and preserve the Taiwanese people's ability to determine their own future, we must reaffirm, clarify, and strengthen relations with our democratic ally and friend Taiwan. That is why I was proud to introduce, with my colleagues, the co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, John Carter, Albio Sires, Gerald Connolly, the Taiwan Policy Act (TPA), which seeks to accomplish these goals.
If enacted, the TPA would codify that it is U.S. policy to support the people of Taiwan, their democracy and human rights, and that Taiwan's future must be determined peacefully and with the Taiwanese people's assent. The bill would reaffirm the continuation of longstanding policies established within the TRA and by the Six Assurances of 1982. It would strengthen our ally's ability to defend itself against Chinese aggression by advancing the sale or transfer of necessary defense articles like F-16 C/D fighter aircraft, Perry class guided missile frigates, as well as other air and air defense, maritime, and ground capabilities. It would help Taiwan build its capacity to partner with other friendly foreign militaries in matters of intelligence, communications, and training and further economic ties by promoting bilateral investment and tax agreements with the ultimate goal of a Free Trade Agreement. The TPA would also encourage visits by cabinet-level and other high-level officials and support meaningful participation in international organizations like the World Health Assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and United Nations entities.
The TRA serves as an enduring reminder of the extent to which Taiwan and the United States share a common commitment to freedom and a government elected by the people and for the people. As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the TRA, there is no better time to recommit to the people of Taiwan and reaffirm that the United States will ensure the flame of liberty continues to burn brightly in the face of Chinese aggression.
RECOGNIZING THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 12, 2016)
SPEECH OF HON. EARL L. ``BUDDY'' CARTER OF GEORGIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2016
Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark the 37th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and to recognize the long-standing U.S.-Taiwan relations. For the past 37 years, the Taiwan Relations Act has served as the cornerstone of the friendship between the United States and Taiwan that has been a mutually beneficial economic, cultural, and strategic relationship.
The United States and Taiwan share many of the same values, including democracy, freedom of speech and rule of law. The relations between our two countries have grown to include areas of trade, national security, and people-to-people exchanges. Taiwan has also joined the United States in providing essential humanitarian aid and promoting peace throughout the world.
As a member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, I am continuously supportive of efforts to strengthen the friendship between our two countries.
In commemorating the 37th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, I commend the work that has been done between our two countries to further democracy, and I look forward to strengthening our relationship with Taiwan in the future.
STATEMENT OF HON. CLEMENT ZABLOCKI, U.S. CONGRESSMAN, STATE OF WISCONSIN
Mr. Speaker, the conference report before us today on H.R. 2479, the Taiwan Relations Act, is similar in all fundamental respects to the bill as it passed the House March 13.
As members will recall, the basic purpose of the legislation which we approved by a vote of 345 to 55, is to establish a peace and security framework for our interests in the Western Pacific and for Taiwan and to continue our commercial and other relations with Taiwan following the President's action in switching official diplomatic recognition from the Taiwan Government to Peking.
When we went into conference with the Senate, we found that the principal objectives of their bill were rather similar to ours. While there were a number of secondary differences, the conferees were able to reconcile them in two meetings over a 24-hour period. We believe we have combined the best features of both bills. We think the resulting legislation is just as strong as the measure which the House passed, and in some respects, better. Therefore, we once again urge its passage by an overwhelming margin.
The principal features of the conference report and the resolution of differences with the Senate may be outlined as follows:
The Senate bill did not include in its title the Taiwan security objective of the legislation. The House bill listed this purpose at the start of its title. The conferees agreed to do this, and we followed this in the title with some phrases from the Senate title. Likewise, for a short title, we use the House term "Relations" rather than "Enabling" which was in the Senate bill.
The first part of the conference report, as in the House bill, sets forth U.S. policy with regard to peace and security in the Western Pacific. The working in essence is a melding of the provisions of the House and Senate bills which were quite similar in both bills. Members will note that any use of force against Taiwan will, under the conference report, be "of grave concern to the United States." It will be our policy to provide Taiwan with defense arms. Also, we retained in essence the House provision in behalf of the human rights of the 18 million people on Taiwan.
For implementation of the policy statement the conference report provides that we shall make available to Taiwan such arms as are needed for her self-defense. The President and the Congress will determine what these arms shall be, judging this solely according to Taiwan's needs. The determination will be reviewed by U.S. military authorities. The President is to inform Congress promptly of any threat to Taiwan's security and any danger to U.S. interests therefrom. The U.S. response to any such danger is to be determined by the President and the Congress, in accordance with constitutional processes.
The next section of the conference report is the key one for continuing and promoting commercial and other relations with Taiwan on nongovernmental basis. The conferees agreed in effect to accept the broad provisions of the House bill and to include also the more specific Senate provisions which dealt with narrower questions. Thus, section 4(a) states broadly yet clearly that the laws of the United States shall continue to apply with respect to Taiwan as if derecognition had not taken place. Section 4(b) goes on to cite various specifics, such as applying U.S. legal references to "foreign countries" to include Taiwan, to continue Taiwan's capacity to sue and be sued in U. S . courts, to continue Taiwan's rights and obligations, and so on.
All treaties and other international agreements between the United States and Taiwan are continued in force, including multilateral conventions, except for the Mutual Defense Treaty. We accepted a Senate provision which also makes clear that nothing in this Act may be construed as supporting expulsion of Taiwan from any international organization.
Providing for continued Taiwan ownership of the Embassy property here in Washington was not an issue; it was in both bills and is in the conference report. Also, we had no difficulty agreeing on a compromise reflecting the intent of both Houses, which requests the President to extend to Taiwan's new instrumentality here the same number of offices and personnel as previously operated in the United States before the breakoff in diplomatic relations. Likewise, we-have agreed on language providing for privileges and immunities for the Taiwan instrumentality personnel here, on a reciprocal basis.
The conference report also includes a provision, taken from the Senate bill, which waives the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) $1,000 per capita limitation with regard to investments on Taiwan. The provision is designed to stimulate confidence in business investments in Taiwan. However, we placed a 3-year limit on the waiver to avoid Taiwan's receiving this special status indefinitely in view of the prosperity of her economy.
On providing for a new U.S. nongovernmental entity to succeed the American Embassy on Taiwan, the conference report provides both for "The American Institute on Taiwan" as designated in the Senate bill, and for a Presidential option to designate some other nongovernmental entity, which was in the House bill. As a factual matter, the United States and Taiwan have already reached an agreement on establishing these entities, with the U.S. instrumentality being named "The American Institute on Taiwan" and that of Taiwan's being called the "Coordination Council for North American Affairs."
On definitions of terms in the legislation, the conference report adopts the House approach in defining "Taiwan," rather than focusing on "People on Taiwan," which was the Senate approach.
Finally, we agreed to the Senate provision for funding to carry out this act in fiscal 1980 and to the House provision for congressional oversight, with an amendment to include "other appropriate committee" as well as the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations Committees in monitoring the provisions under this act.
In sum, Mr. Speaker, I believe the conference report to be a strong bill which is eminently satisfactory from the standpoint of the House.
It is, of course, an absolutely necessary bill from the standpoint of the interests of the United States. It reflects our strong desire for Taiwan's continued security and for continuing, without interruption, our commercial, cultural, and other nondiplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The Conference report is needed to achieve these objectives. I urge its overwhelming approval by the House.
HONORING PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN'S 1ST ANNIVERSARY IN OFFICE
HON. SCOTT DesJARLAIS
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Mr. DesJARLAIS. Mr. Speaker, since President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan assumed office one year ago, she has continued to bolster the robust and beneficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan.
President Tsai has repeatedly stated over the past year her commitment to the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. To help Taiwan support this goal, we must ensure that its legitimate defense requirements are adequately addressed. This is an ironclad commitment that is unequivocally articulated in the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances. In fact, in March of this year, two of our upgraded Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were delivered to Taiwan, highlighting our existing strong military and security ties.
Looking forward, we are confident that the U.S. and Taiwan will build on our already solid foundation and continue to foster our bilateral relations across a wide ranging number of fields. I look forward to hearing the Trump Administration's plans for deepening this relationship in the years ahead.
I congratulate President Tsai on her first anniversary as the President of Taiwan, and look forward to even closer U.S.-Taiwan cooperation under her leadership in the years to come.
Taiwan Relations Act
TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT 35TH ANNIVERSARY
(Senate - April 10, 2014)
Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I wish to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, TRA, which has served as a tangible symbol of the unbreakable friendship between the United States and Taiwan. Today, the partnership between our two countries is stronger than ever.
The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act provides the framework for our official engagements with Taiwan, which marked the end of our official diplomatic ties. For 35 years the TRA has facilitated a partnership committed to facilitating trade, investment, security cooperation, and promoting regional security.
The bilateral achievements made through the TRA have allowed our citizens to create innovative and lasting advancements to the world economy. Today, Taiwan stands as our 12th largest trading partner, and in 2013, the United States and Taiwan traded over $63 billion in goods and services. This bilateral relationship has supported thousands of jobs in both countries, and we must remain committed to the mutual gains this collaboration can provide.
I applaud our West Virginia businesses that have recognized the potential of the Taiwanese economy and exported over $41 million in commodities, high-tech goods, and services to Taiwan last year. We must build on this strong foundation while helping Taiwan meet its needs for foreign sources of energy. I will continue to seek opportunities for further trade integration with Taiwan and shared economic prosperity.
I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our friends in Taiwan to ensure the next generation of American leaders can stand where I stand today, 35 years from now, and celebrate several more decades of peaceful and vibrant collaboration.