US congressman invites Vice President Pence to visit Taiwan

US Congressman Ted Yoho invites Vice President Mike Pence to visit Taiwan

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, Republican U.S. Congressman of Florida Ted Yoho told UDN yesterday (Feb. 26) that he has sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence recommending that he visit Taiwan.

When asked by UDN yesterday whether the U.S. would send high level officials to mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, Yoho, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has already put forth a proposal to invite Vice President Pence, as well as U.S. State Department personnel, to visit Taiwan.

Yoho said that he sent a letter to Pence on the subject a few months ago. However, the Office of the Vice President and State Department have yet to respond to inquiries on the matter.

In addition, Yoho pointed out that he concurs with other congressmen that Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California should invite Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to address a joint session of Congress. Yoho said this would be of great significance, not only because it would be a first, but also because it would show that the U.S. recognized Taiwan as a country and Tsai as the president and leader of that country.

In December of last year, Yoho wrote an article titled "Recognize Taiwan as the country it truly is." In the article, he asserted that the time has come for the U.S., China, and other countries in the world to treat Taiwan fairly.

In the article, Yoho said that given that 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, it is time that the U.S. update its Taiwan policy to recognize the current reality. "Taiwan is a state and treating this fact as if it is off-limits in international affairs is simply a refusal to acknowledge reality," wrote Yoho.

On Feb. 7, a group of U.S. senators issued a joint letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling on her to invite Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.