Taiwan’s leadership, including their president, cannot visit our nation’s capital for consultations, making it difficult to resolve intricate issues. This is because of a self-imposed restriction on the part of the United States government. This must be remediated.
The legislative history of the Taiwan Relations Act specifically barred the third party intervention into determining the nature of defense equipment Taiwan could purchase. When the United States sells arms to Taiwan (as required per Section 3 of the Taiwan Relations Act), no other country’s opinions should be considered.
We currently do not have a free trade agreement with Taiwan. Section 2 of the Taiwan Relations Act requires that our two nations have a strong commercial relationship. A free trade agreement would strengthen the economic ties between the United States and Taiwan.
I heartily recommend that we continue to maintain a strong relationship with Taiwan and its democratically-elected leader, President Ma Ying-jeou. It deserves our support in fulfilling the intent of the Congressional drafters of the Taiwan Relations Act.
Lester Wolff is a former member of Congress from New York.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.