TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on Wednesday (March 4) issued both a tweet and formal statement in support of Taiwan after the House unanimously passed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act (TAIPEI Act).
The lightly revised TAIPEI Act was passed with a unanimous vote of 415 to zero, reported CNA. The bill, which aims to discourage Taiwan's diplomatic allies from cutting ties with the island country due to pressure from Beijing, had also been unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 30.
The bill requires the State Department to induce governments that are allies of Taiwan to maintain diplomatic ties with the country and to identify those at risk of severing relations with it. The bill also calls for the U.S. to supplement its diplomatic presence in countries that support Taiwan and reduce its diplomatic footprint if they side with Beijing.
In response to the bill's passage, Pelosi stated on Twitter that the act "celebrates and supports Taiwan’s commitment to democracy, by preserving and promoting its position on the international stage." She added that through the act, the U.S. Congress is sending a message to the world that "America stands with Taiwan."
The TAIPEI Act celebrates and supports Taiwan’s commitment to democracy, by preserving and promoting its position on the international stage. Today and on all days, Congress continues to send a message to the world that America stands with Taiwan. https://t.co/fF8FnRUhBL— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 4, 2020
In a press release issued that day, Pelosi also described Taiwan as a "key ally in the region and an important democratic partner." She declared that the passage of the bill signifies that Congress has reaffirmed its support for a "free, open and democratic Taiwan."
The signal of American support comes as welcome news in Taiwan, as Beijing has been ramping up its pressure campaign to exclude the country from international organizations and poach its diplomatic allies.
To counter this, Pelosi emphasized the importance of the U.S. encouraging its allies and partners to forge stronger diplomatic ties with Taiwan. In a possible allusion to Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO), Pelosi also stated that the U.S. should take steps to ensure that Taiwan is included at the "decision-making table' in international organizations, including the United Nations.
She closed by saying that the bill sends a strong signal to the world that "American stands with Taiwan." She then called on President Trump to quickly sign the legislation.
The full text of Pelosi's statement can be seen below:
“For decades, the U.S. Congress on a bipartisan and bicameral basis has proudly stood with Taiwan, which is a key ally in the region and an important democratic partner. Today, by passing the TAIPEI Act, Congress once again reaffirms our strong support for a free, open and democratic Taiwan.
“The TAIPEI Act celebrates and supports Taiwan’s commitment to democracy, by preserving and promoting its position on the international stage. It is imperative that America encourages our allies and partners to strengthen their diplomatic ties with Taipei, and that we ensure that Taiwan has a seat at the international decision-making table, including at the United Nations.
“Today and on all days, Congress continues to send a message to the world that America stands with Taiwan. This important legislation will now go to the President’s desk, where we look forward to seeing it swiftly signed.”
The TAIPEI Act was first introduced in the Senate by Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) last May and was unanimously passed by the body on Oct. 29, 2019. 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.