The U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee advanced the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 on Sept. 14, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate. There were some changes to the symbolic areas of the bill. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will follow the bill's progress and continue closely communicating with Congress.
The U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee advanced the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 on Sept. 14 by a vote of 17 to 5, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate. This bill is regarded as the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. policy towards Taiwan since 1979. Committee Chairperson Bob Menendez, who proposed the bill, said he believes it will strengthen Taiwan's security and deter China. He also stressed U.S. policy towards Taiwan has not changed.
Bob Menendez, US Senator: “... does not change our policy to Taiwan as it exists today, but it gives greater clarity about our willingness to help Taiwan.”
Tsui Ching-lin, Deputy Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to follow the progress of the Taiwan Policy Act and maintain close communications with the U.S. Congress and executive branch. We hope this bill can be effected during the current session.”
There were reports that the White House had concerns about some sections of the bill, and several Democrats voted against the bill. Several symbolic clauses were amended. The provisions on changing the name of the representative office and requiring Senate confirmation for the director of the American Institute in Taiwan were changed to suggestions. However, no changes were made to clauses on Taiwan's status as a major non-NATO ally and providing Taiwan with military financing.
Li Da-jung, Assoc. Prof., Grad. Inst. of Int'l Affairs & Strategic Studies, TKU: “The current version deals with it in a vaguer manner. However, the overall legislative process has only just begun, because the House of Representatives will also have its own version.”
Meanwhile, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance of China, which has members from around 30 countries, is holding a conference in Washington. It issued a communique saying that China cannot dictate other countries' relationships with Taiwan and they will promote exchange visits with Taiwan's legislators and uphold peace across the Taiwan Strait. In response, MOFA expressed its most sincere gratitude.