Two top Republican lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives calling for the United States to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and end the outdated and counter-productive “one- China" policy.
The US maintained normal diplomatic relations with the government in Taiwan until 1979, when then-President Jimmy Carter abruptly cut off formal ties with Taipei and recognised the Communist regime in Beijing.
China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
Introduced by congressmen Tom Tiffany and Scott Perry, the bill directs the Biden administration to support Taiwan's membership in international organisations, and to initiate negotiations with Taipei on crafting a US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement.
For more than 40 years, American presidents of both political parties have repeated Beijing's bogus lie that Taiwan is part of Communist China – despite the objective reality that it is not,” said Tiffany. “It is time to do away with this outdated policy,” he said.
“As an independent Nation that proudly collaborates with Taiwan across a wide spectrum of issues, it's long past time The United States exercised our sovereign right to state what the world knows to be true: Taiwan is an independent country, and has been for over 70 years,” said Perry.
Lawmakers responded by approving the bipartisan Taiwan Relations Act , the cornerstone of continued US ties with the island.
Former president Ronald Reagan upgraded the relationship during his term with the “Six Assurances,” which made clear that the US did not recognise Communist Chinese claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, the media release said.
The two lawmakers said that despite the TRA and the “Six Assurances,” the US still lacks formal ties with Taiwan, inexplicably treating the island's democratically elected government the same way it treats brutal regimes in North Korea and Iran from a diplomatic perspective – and in a category worse than that of Cuba's dictatorship, which President Obama and Vice President Biden recognised during their second term.
In 2020, Tiffany proposed an amendment to the annual Pentagon spending bill that sought to rescind a set of unproductive, self-imposed restrictions limiting communications between US and Taiwanese officials.
While House Democrats refused to allow a vote on the amendment at the time, Secretary Pompeo later enacted the policy, scrapping the so-called “guidelines” and enabling greater communication and coordination between Taipei and Washington. It is unclear whether the Biden administration will roll back the changes under pressure from Beijing.
"America doesn't need a permission slip from the Chinese Communist Party to talk to its friends and partners around the world. Taiwan is a free, democratic and independent country, and it's time US policy reflected that fact,” Tiffany said.
The relations between the US and China are at an all-time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.
In February, Senator Rick Scott reintroduced the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, sponsored by Congressman Guy Reschenthaler in the US House of Representatives, to protect Taiwan from Communist China's growing aggression.
The Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act further reinforces the US-Taiwan relationship and strengthens Taiwan's ability to resist Communist China's aggressive policies and military actions.
Washington officially sticks to a "one-China" policy, acknowledging Taiwan being part of China and the People's Republic's status as the sole legitimate government of China, according to CNN.
The policy forms the basis of Chinese diplomacy and policy-making and determines Sino-US relations, it said.