The Taiwan Relations Act set out America’s dedication to a democratic Taiwan, offering the framework for an financial and diplomatic relationship that might shortly flourish right into a key partnership. It fostered a deep friendship rooted in shared pursuits and values: self-determination and self-government, democracy and freedom, human dignity and human rights.
And it made a solemn vow by the US to assist the protection of Taiwan: “to contemplate any effort to find out the way forward for Taiwan by aside from peaceable means … a risk to the peace and safety of the Western Pacific space and of grave concern to the US.”
In the present day, America should keep in mind that vow. We should stand by Taiwan, which is an island of resilience. Taiwan is a frontrunner in governance: presently, in addressing the covid-19 pandemic and championing environmental conservation and local weather motion. It’s a chief in peace, safety and financial dynamism: with an entrepreneurial spirit, tradition of innovation and technological prowess which might be envies of the world.
But, disturbingly, this vibrant, strong democracy — named one of many freest on the earth by Freedom Home and proudly led by a girl, President Tsai Ing-wen — is below risk.
In recent times, Beijing has dramatically intensified tensions with Taiwan. The Folks’s Republic of China (PRC) has ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets and surveillance plane close to and even over Taiwan’s air protection zone, main the U.S. Protection Division to conclude that China’s military is “doubtless making ready for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the PRC by drive.”
The PRC has additionally taken the battle into our on-line world, launching scores of assaults on Taiwan authorities companies every day. On the similar time, Beijing is squeezing Taiwan economically, pressuring world companies to chop ties with the island, intimidating nations that cooperate with Taiwan, and clamping down on tourism from the PRC.
Within the face of the Chinese language Communist Occasion’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s go to ought to be seen as an unequivocal assertion that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic associate, because it defends itself and its freedom.
Our go to — considered one of a number of congressional delegations to the island — under no circumstances contradicts the long-standing one-China coverage, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances. The US continues to oppose unilateral efforts to alter the established order.
Our go to is a part of our broader journey to the Pacific — together with Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan — centered on mutual safety, financial partnership and democratic governance. Our discussions with our Taiwanese companions will concentrate on reaffirming our assist for the island and selling our shared pursuits, together with advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific area. America’s solidarity with Taiwan is extra vital right now than ever — not solely to the 23 million folks of the island but in addition to tens of millions of others oppressed and menaced by the PRC.
Thirty years in the past, I traveled in a bipartisan congressional delegation to China, the place, in Tiananmen Sq., we unfurled a black-and-white banner that learn, “To those that died for democracy in China.” Uniformed police pursued us as we left the sq.. Since then, Beijing’s abysmal human rights report and disrespect for the rule of legislation proceed, as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip on energy.
The CCP’s brutal crackdown towards Hong Kong’s political freedoms and human rights — even arresting Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen — solid the guarantees of “one-country, two-systems” into the dustbin. In Tibet, the CCP has lengthy led a marketing campaign to erase the Tibetan folks’s language, tradition, faith and identification. In Xinjiang, Beijing is perpetrating genocide towards Muslim Uyghurs and different minorities. And all through the mainland, the CCP continues to focus on and arrest activists, religious-freedom leaders and others who dare to defy the regime.
We can’t stand by because the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself.
Certainly, we take this journey at a time when the world faces a alternative between autocracy and democracy. As Russia wages its premeditated, unlawful struggle towards Ukraine, killing hundreds of innocents — even youngsters — it’s important that America and our allies clarify that we by no means give in to autocrats.
Once I led a congressional delegation to Kyiv in April — the highest-level U.S. go to to the besieged nation — I conveyed to President Volodymyr Zelensky that we admired his folks’s protection of democracy for Ukraine and for democracy worldwide.
By touring to Taiwan, we honor our dedication to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan — and all democracies — should be revered.