- As Delivered –
WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks supporting the Taiwan Travel Act (H.R.535), which the Committee advanced at this morning’s markup:
“I’m grateful to Reps. Chabot and Sherman for their strong leadership on Taiwan and in particular for introducing the Taiwan Travel Act.
“I’m a strong supporter of Taiwan. I’ve visited there many times, including with the Chairman, who has been a longstanding champion and highly regarded expert on Taiwan issues.
“Taiwan is a flourishing multiparty democracy of more than 20 million people and a vibrant free-market economy. It’s a leading trade partner of the United States—alongside much bigger countries like Brazil and India.
“Over the past 60 years, the U.S.-Taiwan relationship has undergone dramatic changes, and Taiwan’s development into a robust and liberal democracy underscores the strong friendship our two counties share today.
“The cornerstone of our relationship is the Taiwan Relations Act, passed by Congress in 1979. It’s been instrumental in maintaining peace and security across the Taiwan Straits and in East Asia, and serves as the official basis for friendship and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan. Congress has played a major role in defining what our bilateral relationship looks like.
“Given the possibility that the new Administration may want to revisit regulations and guidance towards Taiwan, the Taiwan Travel Act is timely.
“This measure puts Congress on record saying the United States government should encourage more regular, substantive, and senior-level engagement between American and Taiwanese officials, and reaffirms that our policy should be to allow such visits to occur at all levels of government. This is the sort of engagement and support we would like to see for our close friends and partners in Taipei.
“That’s why I support this measure and all members should do the same.
“Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this markup and I yield back.”
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