16 US senators call on Trump to send Cabinet-level official to Taiwan

US Senators Rubio, Menendez among 16 senators calling on Trump to send Cabinet-level national security official to Taiwan

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Rubio (left), Menendez (right).

Rubio (left), Menendez (right). (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Monday (March 4) coauthored a bipartisan letter to President Trump to send a Cabinet-level national security official to Taiwan to recognized the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act in April of this year.

In addition to calling on Trump to send a Cabinet-level official, the letter also calls on his administration to fully implement the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative to reaffirm America's commitment to Taiwan.

In the letter, the senators wrote that the The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will be holding an official event to celebrate the anniversary in Taipei. The senators believe this is an opportunity, consistent with the Taiwan Travel Act, to "underscore our nation’s enduring commitment to Taiwan’s democracy and its people."

Citing Trump's speech at the APEC CEO summit in Nov. 2017, in which he spoke of his vision of "a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific," they said that, as a "vibrant democracy and free-market economy," Taiwan serves as an "important part of achieving this vision and a shining example of everything we want for the region."

The senators then wrote that the Taiwan Travel Act and Asia Reassurance Initiative Act encourage "high-level officials, including Cabinet-level national security officials, general officers, and other executive branch officials, to travel to Taiwan." They wrote that these sorts of meetings between high-level American and Taiwanese officials are an important way of countering China's aggressive efforts at changing the cross-Strait status quo.

The letter concluded with the request that the Trump administration send a Cabinet-level official to attend the AIT event in Taipei. The senators asserted that sending a senior delegation to the event would send a strong signal to China of America's continued commitment to and support of Taiwan.

In addition to Rubio and Menendez, the following 14 senators also signed the letter: Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Edward Markey (D-MA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Rounds (R-SD).