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U.S. House committee reaffirms support for Taiwan
Central News Agency
2014-03-26 05:52 PM
Washington, March 25 (CNA) The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution Tuesday to reaffirm support for the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The resolution was agreed to by voice vote and reported to the House by unanimous consent. "This bipartisan legislation, which currently has over 60 co-sponsors, reinforces our nation's unwavering support for Taiwan and for Taiwan's 23 million people," Ed Royce, chairman of the committee, said in introducing the resolution. "Since the act came into force in 1979, there have been few other pieces of foreign policy legislation as consequential as the TRA," he said. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday welcomed the resolution and said it showed that the U.S. Congress attached great importance to Taiwan-U.S. relations. House Resolution No. 494 seeks to reaffirm the House's "unwavering commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act as the cornerstone of relations between the United States and Taiwan." The TRA was implemented on April 10, 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the U.S. and the people of Taiwan, after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. It was enacted to ensure peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific and committed Washington "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character." Royce's resolution supports "the United States' commitment to Taiwan's security in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, including the sale of sophisticated weapons of a defensive character to Taiwan, such as F-16 C/Ds and diesel electric submarines." The resolution also reaffirmed the House's "commitment to deepen U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relations as well as support for Taiwan's inclusion in bilateral and regional trade agreements." Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, called the act "instrumental in maintaining peace and security across the Taiwan Strait and in East Asia" and praised Taiwan's democratic development. "(Taiwan's) impressive evolution from authoritarianism to one of the strongest democratic systems in Asia has transformed the U.S.-Taiwan relationship from one based solely on shared interests to one based also on shared values," Engel said. (By Tony Liao and Christie Chen)

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