Former US security consultant: Taiwan president should speak before Congress

Joseph Bosco says Trump should proffer a formal invite to Tsai

Bosco: U.S. should take Taiwan relations "to the next level"

Bosco: U.S. should take Taiwan relations "to the next level" (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Joseph Bosco, a former national security consultant to the U.S., wrote an appeal in The Hill on Monday for the Trump administration to invite President Tsai Ing-wen to address a joint session in Congress.

Bosco, who retired from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2010, argued Congress and the Trump administration ought to take U.S.-Taiwan relations to “the next level” by inviting Tsai to give a speech before the legislative house, continuing a long-established tradition of welcoming world leaders who stand for democracy, freedom and human rights in the face of injustice.

The former consultant wrote the U.S. should follow up on the commitments espoused in the Taiwan Travel Act (TTA) and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) to end the country’s diplomatic isolation and ensure its democratic security. Congress should set an example to the international community, he said, by inviting Tsai to address a joint session, “thereby according her the honor and dignity she and the people of Taiwan deserve.”

Bosco suggested no time could be more appropriate than the current to host Tsai, Taiwan’s first female president and the only currently-serving female leader in Asia, given that Nancy Pelosi was recently restored as House Minority Leader, and a record number of women have been elected into Congress.

Although Beijing would undoubtedly disapprove of the event, he wrote, the Chinese government continues to goad Washington with provocative measures regardless of what actions the U.S. takes, therefore the Trump administration “should not be reluctant to do the right thing.”

The Taiwan Relations Act was enacted in April 1979 after uproar in Congress when then-president Jimmy Carter conceded to China’s demands and severed U.S. relations with Taiwan. The act was devised to protect the U.S. and Taiwan’s “non-diplomatic” commercial and security relationship.

President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act into law last year, marking a juncture in history and legally permitting visits between high-level officials of the U.S. and Taiwan.

Xi Jinping made an aggressive demand for Taiwan to heed China’s interpretation of the “One China Principle” on Jan. 2, threatening the use of force to unify the two countries in a new year’s speech. This was then rebuffed by multiple Taiwan officials, including the president herself, who said Taiwan will never accept China’s “one country, two systems” arrangement.

A stern advocate for a tougher stance against Chinese aggression, Joseph Bosco regularly contributes to The Hill, which is a daily newspaper largely focusing on the U.S. Congress, presidency and national election campaigns.