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U.S. House committee reaffirms Taiwan Relations Act

2016/04/21 14:36:14

(CNA file photo)

Washington, April 20 (CNA) A U.S. House of Representatives committee has unanimously passed a bipartisan measure to reaffirm the Taiwan Relations Act and the "Six Assurances" -- the guidelines used to conduct relations between the United States and Taiwan.

The Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), passed the measure, introduced by Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) in October 2015, Tuesday to reaffirm the act and the 1982 assurances as the cornerstone of United States-Taiwan relations.

"Congress has long championed a strong relationship with Taiwan through landmark measures like the Taiwan Relations Act, and through pressing successive administrations to fulfill their obligation to sell defensive arms to Taiwan," Royce said upon the passage of the non-binding measure -- House Concurrent Resolution 88.

"Today, our committee is once again reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Taiwan by upholding the Six Assurances as one of the cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan policy, right alongside the Taiwan Relations Act," he said.

The measure underscored that Taiwan has been an important partner of the United States. Over the past 20 years, the Taiwanese people have established an active and universal democracy, and successfully held five presidential elections and many legislative and local elections, it said.

It calls on the U.S. president and the Department of State to openly, actively and continuously reaffirm that the Six Assurances are also the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

The Taiwan Relation Act, enacted in April 1979, was formed for the promotion of commercial, cultural and other relations between Taiwan and the United States in the absence of diplomatic ties between them.

The Six Assurances refer to six points that Taiwan proposed to the United States in 1982, when the latter negotiated with China on the U.S.- China Joint Communiqué on Arms Sales to Taiwan.

The administration of President Ronald Reagan agreed to these points, conveyed this assent to Taiwan, and, in late July 1982, informed the Congress of the agreement.

The six points are as follows:

The United States would not set a date for ending arms sales to the Republic of China (ROC);

The United States would not hold prior consultations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) regarding arms sales to the ROC;

The United States would not play a mediation role between the PRC and the ROC;

The United States would not revise the Taiwan Relations Act;

The United States would not alter its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan; and

The United States would not pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with the PRC.

(By Tony Liao and Elizabeth Hsu)