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U.S. lawmakers express support for Taiwan on 40th anniversary of TRA

2019/03/11 19:50:01

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Taipei, March 11 (CNA) Several heavyweight members of the United States Congress from different political parties have appeared in a congratulatory video clip to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

The TRA was enacted in 1979 after Washington severed ties with Taipei, with the aim of defining future unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan.

In the video, the lawmakers assured that the U.S. will support Taiwan's defense capability to resist an invasion by China, while stressing that Taiwan cannot be a bargaining chip.

"It's not enough to simply mark this milestone. We need to reaffirm our commitment to the six assurances and increase our engagement with Taiwan," said House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation Chairman Brad Sherman.

"Taiwan should not be a bargaining chip," he added.

A leading supporter of the Taiwan Travel Act, Sherman expressed his pleasure in hosting Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during her brief stopover in Los Angeles last year, and said he believes more leaders from both sides should visit each other.

Efforts should be made to ensure the full implementation of the travel act and use it as a basis for building deeper ties, he said.

The Taiwan Travel Act, which was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump last year, lifts restrictions on high-level visits to and from Taiwan. It is aimed at promoting exchanges between high-level U.S. and Taiwanese officials.

House Representative Ted Yoho said he looks forward to the day Taiwan is recognized as an independent nation, while Representative Gerald Connolly said the TRA sent a message to "those who might have wanted to do damage to Taiwan" that the U.S. will be there "to provide defense for Taiwan."

Ten U.S. lawmakers appeared in the video clip, including James Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Robert Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"As co-chair of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, I am incredibly proud to wish the TRA a very happy anniversary," Inhofe said in the video, adding that Taiwan will always be an important partner of the U.S. in the region.

"China has never been more aggressive and Taiwan stands as our

ally against that aggression and oppression. I want to let you know that you have a friend in Congress," said Michael McCaul, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The video clip was first shown at a March 7 event hosted by the Taiwan Representative Office in the U.S. and posted on social media.

(By Tony Liao and Emerson Lim)