MOFA thanks US for passing ARIA bill to deepen cooperation with Taiwan

The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act now only awaits the signature of President Donald Trump

Leader of the bill, Senator Cory Gardner

Leader of the bill, Senator Cory Gardner (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed sincere gratitude to the U.S. today for passing the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) of 2018.

The act, which was designed to serve as a policy framework for improving U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific region, cleared the Senate on Dec. 5, before passing a House of Representatives vote on Dec. 12, and now awaits the signature of President Donald Trump.

It includes the Taiwan Travel Act, which will allow top Taiwanese officials to visit the U.S. and vice versa, and reaffirms U.S. commitment to maintaining the security of Taiwan via the Six Assurances.

The Six Assurances were initially developed in 1982 and maintain that the U.S. will continue selling arms to Taiwan and will not pressurize the country into opening up negotiations with Beijing.

The ARIA also states that the U.S. is committed to supporting close economic and political relations with Taiwan, and countering efforts to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

The bill is led by Cory Gardner, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, with the intent of supporting an open and free Indo-Pacific and strengthening policy guidelines on U.S. leadership in the region. It is hoped to provide a balance against encroaching Chinese domination of the area.

Taiwan MOFA issued a press release today stating that Taiwan and the U.S. share common values and goals, and that Taiwan is readily willing to cooperate, alongside the U.S., with nearby neighbors that harbour common values to jointly promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

The ministry also said the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act earlier this year demonstrated a cross-party consensus within both U.S. houses on enhancing U.S.-Taiwan relations and promoting regional peace and stability.

MOFA expressed sincere gratitude to the U.S. Congress for its concrete support of Taiwan and restated its desire to deepen cooperation between the two nations in various fields.