House bill calls for US president to visit Taiwan

Bill advocates Taiwanese presidential trip to US, meetings with POTUS, Congress

Tsai, Trump. (Modified AP photos) 

Tsai, Trump. (Modified AP photos) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 29) primarily designed to authorize military force if China invades Taiwan also calls on the presidents of both Taiwan and the U.S. to visit each other's countries.

On Wednesday, Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) introduced the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act. The bill primarily focuses on authorizing the U.S. president to use force if China attacks Taiwan, but it also includes sections on setting up a free trade agreement between the two countries and having the American and Taiwanese presidents make reciprocal visits.

In the draft of the bill posted online, Section 205 calls for "high-level visits," including one to Taiwan by the U.S. president within one year after the act is passed. As part of the visit, the U.S. president or secretary of state would meet with Taiwan's president.

Likewise, the bill invites the president of Taiwan to visit the U.S. and meet with the American president or secretary of state. In addition, Sec. 206 of the bill invites the Taiwanese head of state to address a joint meeting of Congress and participate in a roundtable discussion with members of the representative body.

The only time in history that a U.S. president visited Taiwan was when President Eisenhower toured the country and met with former ruler Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) in 1960. President Trump's phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was the first time a U.S. president-elect had directly spoken to a Taiwanese leader since former President Carter severed diplomatic relations in 1979.