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Advancing the Democracy of Taiwan
Policy Forum with Congressman Ed Royce
Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, delivered a substantive keynote speech at a Formosa Foundation policy forum where he reminded the audience “peace comes through strength” and called for bold leadership to guide U.S.-Taiwan relations.
Royce hit back at the debate within some academic circles about “abandoning Taiwan” in order to smooth U.S.-China relations. The Congressman called the hypothesis “naïve.” Royce noted that a slippage of U.S. support for Taiwan could negatively impact U.S. relations with allies throughout Asia: “Put simply, U.S.-Taiwan relations are a barometer of the U.S. role in Asia. A strong relationship with Taiwan strengthens stability in the region.”
“Today, Congressman Royce emphatically voiced his support for Taiwan’s democracy and reassured the audience that no serious member of Congress would ever consider backing away from Taiwan.” said Terri Giles, Formosa Foundation Executive Director.
The Formosa Foundation has hosted a series of events over the past year featuring leading members of Congress and focused on drawing attention and support to Taiwan. Giles pointed out “We are starting to see real results for the first time in a long time in Washington: two hearings, three major bills, and members of Congress strongly standing up for the people of Taiwan and their democracy. It’s encouraging and exciting.”
An active member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Royce also called for bolstering economic ties with Taiwan. “A wave of economic integration has been sweeping across Asia. Asian countries have been locking-in preferential trade agreements among themselves and with other trading partners… Like the U.S. – but for different reasons – Taiwan has been left out of this integration,” Royce told the audience. “The U.S. must move towards a free trade agreement with Taiwan.”
Royce also expressed deep concern that the last Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks – the main forum used by Taiwan and the United States to discuss major economic issues – was held in 2007. “We are approaching 2012. Taiwan is our 9th largest trading partner. Refusing to talk about the broad range of economic issues between us because of a few issues can only be described as shooting ourselves in the foot. Let's start talking.”
The Formosa Foundation has been working with the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and other members to advance legislation that stresses political, economic, and security rejuvenation between the United States and Taiwan. Royce who joined Chairman Ros-Lehtinen in introducing the legislation called for support of that bill, H.R. 2918, the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2011” which will be marked up next week.
The video documentation of the whole event can be viewed on Youtube.
Photos of the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.
News Coverage of the Event
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