Should two bills to help Taiwan make it to President Trump’s desk, he could instead use them as tools to pressure China on trade and North Korea.
Date: JANUARY 13, 2018
By: Helen Raleigh
Two Taiwan-related bills passed the House this week, and if they make it to President Donald Trump’s desk they could become powerful bargaining chips in China negotiations. But how will that impact Taiwan?
The first bill is the Taiwan Travel Act, which is designed to encourage diplomatic visits between U.S. and Taiwan officials at all levels. The bill would pave the way for Taiwanese government officials to visit the U.S. and meet U.S. officials, including those from the Defense Department. U.S. government officials would be able to do the same in Taiwan. It’s a huge deal, because such diplomatic visits from both sides have ceased after Washington and Beijing established a formal diplomatic relationship in 1979.
The second bill would direct the State Department to come up with a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization. This bill is also significant because Taiwan lost its permanent seat and all representation in the United Nations in 1971, after the General Assembly passed a resolution to officially acknowledge the People’s Republic of China (Beijing) as China’s only representative. Since 1993,