October 31, 2019
Taipei has come under increasing pressure from China in recent months.
The United States Senate passed a piece of legislation Tuesday to ask the government to help Taiwan keep its remaining 15 diplomatic allies while supporting its international presence.
The legislation, titled “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act of 2019,” or “TAIPEI Act 2019,” was passed unanimously.
The act, initiated by Republican Senator Cory Gardner, was introduced in May to express U.S. support for Taiwan’s diplomatic alliances around the world.
Gardner initiated a similar act titled “Taipei Act 2018” in September of that year, but it failed to clear the Senate.
The 2019 act authorizes the U.S. State Department to consider “reducing its economic, security and diplomatic engagements with nations that take serious or significant actions to undermine Taiwan.”
The U.S. government should also help Taiwan gain participation in international organizations, either as a member or an observer, and express its support for Taiwan’s international participation when it interacts with Beijing, it said.
The bill’s passage came one day before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee was set to review its own version of the aforesaid act.
Once the act passes the House, a committee made up of House and Senate members will work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the act to come up with a single version of the bill before returning it to both the House and Senate for approval.
It will then be sent to the U.S. president for final approval, who will have 10 days to sign it into law or veto it.