U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) joined U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in a bipartisan letter urging President Trump to send a Cabinet-level official to Taipei for the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act in April 2019. The letter also requests the President fully implement the Taiwan Travel Act (Public Law 115-135) and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (Public Law 115-409) to reaffirm the America’s commitment to Taiwan, a fellow democracy and an important economic and security partner in the Indo-Pacific.
Also signing the letter were Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Edward Markey (D-MA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. President:
In April 2019, the United States will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8). This landmark legislation serves as the cornerstone of U.S. policy towards Taiwan and has helped to maintain peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific against an increasingly aggressive Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party of China (CCP). To mark this momentous occasion, the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has indicated his intention to hold a major event in April to celebrate the anniversary. This event provides an ideal opportunity, consistent with the requirements set forth in the Taiwan Travel Act (Public Law 115-135) that you signed into law on March 16, 2018, to send a Cabinet-level official to Taipei to underscore our nation’s enduring commitment to Taiwan’s democracy and its people. The provisions of the Taiwan Travel Act were further reaffirmed in the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (Public Law 115-409), which was signed into law on December 31, 2018.
Taiwan is a key economic and security partner, as well as a critical ally of the United States. In your November 2017 speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit, you spoke of your vision for “a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific.” As a vibrant democracy and free-market economy that respects the rule of law, Taiwan is an important part of achieving this vision and a shining example of everything we want for the region.
We welcomed your signing of the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act into law last year. This was an important development in our relationship with Taiwan that cemented the critical need for high-level visits between Washington, D.C., and Taipei. In specific, the law encourages high-level officials, including Cabinet-level national security officials, general officers, and other executive branch officials, to travel to Taiwan and meet with their counterparts. We believe that travel of this nature is important to ensure we are acting in accordance with our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act, especially given Chinese efforts to change the cross-Strait status quo.
We therefore respectfully request you to fully implement the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, and send a Cabinet-level official to represent the United States at the AIT event in Taipei, Taiwan. We believe the presence of a senior delegation would send a strong signal of America’s unwavering commitment to and support for one of our strongest partners in the region. Thank you for your attention to this matter.