Washington, The Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Tuesday to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Taiwan, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
The committee also passed a resolution that reiterated the U.S.'s support for Taiwan and adherence to the TRA.
The resolution called for the U.S. government to assist Taiwan, for example, by approving regular defense arms sales, backing Taiwan's participation in international organizations, and encouraging visits and interactions between high level officials of the U.S. and Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act.
"Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the TRA, and it is important for the U.S. Congress to reaffirm our commitment to Taiwan and the implementation of the landmark legislation," said Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the sponsor of the resolution.
The TRA, which provides the legal basis for unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan, was signed into law on April 10, 1979 by then U.S. President Jimmy Carter, several months after the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Taiwan Assurance Act, which passed the committee stage unopposed Tuesday, will now be submitted to a plenary session of the House for a vote.
Representative Michael McCaul, who sponsored the bill, said it was important to strengthen the U.S.' backing of Taiwan, in light of the growing threats from China.
"Taiwan is a strong democratic ally and it is increasingly under threat from Communist China," McCaul said.
"The Taiwan Assurance Act reaffirms our support for Taiwan's defense capabilities and advocates for their participation in international organizations.
"As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the TRA, it is important for our Taiwanese friends to know that our alliance will only grow stronger," he said.
The flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) appeared in a Facebook post by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee that listed bills passed in Tuesday's session.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed appreciation for the strong support of the U.S. Congress.
In a press release issued Wednesday (local time), the ministry said it will continue to seek deeper cooperation with the U.S. on all levels, taking a pragmatic approach.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel