OPINION: Should Tsai Address US Congress? Let’s Ask the People of Taiwan

The brunt of any consequences, positive or negative, to Tsai addressing US Congress would be felt by the people of Taiwan.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/27
By: Milo Hsieh

Credit: Depositphotos

In an opinion article published in The Hill on Jan. 21, Taiwan and China expert Joseph Bosco proposed that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should be invited to speak in front of a joint session of U.S. Congress. Soon after, several Republican senators asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to extend an invitation to Tsai – including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of whom have traditionally advocated for Taiwan and opposed Chinese pressure on Taiwan’s government and international presence.

The reasons are clear: In 2019, the U.S. ought to move towards a more normalized relationship with Taiwan. As former Dutch diplomat Gerrit van der Wees writes in The Diplomat, though Western powers such as the U.S. and EU applaud Taiwan’s democracy, “their antiquated policies are still stuck in the 1970s.” (The U.S. switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 at a time when the Republic of China (ROC) was governed under martial law.)

Despite this, the U.S. remains in nominal compliance with the “one China policy” and engages in restricted diplomatic contact with Taipei, often toeing the line between angering China and continuing U.S. commitment to Taiwan.

Bosco and Van der Wees are right: the lack of normalized relations and codified commitment between Taiwan and the U.S. is indeed an important issue as the U.S. attempts to pivot to the Indo-Pacific region in order to counterbalance the rise of China.    [FULL  STORY]

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