US House of Representatives to consider TAIPEI Act on Thursday

Bill to protect Taiwan against Chinese pressure campaign nears House vote

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U.S. House of Representatives to consider TAIPEI Act March 5. 

U.S. House of Representatives to consider TAIPEI Act March 5.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act (TAIPEI Act) is expected to be reviewed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (March 5) as more American lawmakers voice their support for Taiwan's recognition as a sovereign state.

According to the floor schedule released by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday (March 4), the lightly revised TAIPEI Act will be considered by representatives before a roll call vote. The bill, which aims to discourage Taiwan's diplomatic allies from cutting ties with the island country due to pressure from Beijing, was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 30.

The TAIPEI Act was first introduced in the Senate by Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) last May, with Republican congressman from Utah John Curtis unveiling a similar version in the House in October. According to U.S. legislative procedure, the Senate and House must coordinate on passing identical versions of the TAIPEI Act before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

During a discussion session on Tuesday (March 3), Curtis said that the bipartisan bill, if passed, will strengthen the relations between Taiwan and the U.S. without "costing American taxpayers a cent" while opposing China's bullying tactics. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) also stressed that the U.S. government ought to take necessary measures to ensure Taiwan's democracy and that the TAIPEI Act would send a strong warning to the Beijing authorities, reported UDN.