Taiwan welcomes U.S. House legislation on TRA and warship sales
Central News Agency
2014-04-08 10:29 PM
Taipei, April 8 (CNA) Taiwan welcomed Tuesday a piece of legislation from the U.S. House of Representatives reaffirming the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and authorizing the sale of four Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014 was passed by unanimous consent a day earlier. It will now be forwarded to the Senate for approval. In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement expressing Taiwan's gratitude for the support. It shows U.S. bipartisan support for close cooperation between Taiwan and the United States in areas of security, economy and culture, the statement added. The authorization of the sale of Perry-class frigates also demonstrates U.S. commitment to Taiwan's security, the ministry said. The bill authorizes the sale of four of the frigates to Taiwan based on the TRA, which guides U.S. policy on arms sales to Taiwan and the unofficial ties between the two sides. The new legislation states that the TRA has been "instrumental in maintaining peace, security and stability in the Western Pacific since its enactment in 1979." It reaffirms Congress' "unwavering commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act as the cornerstone of relations between the United States and Taiwan." It also supports "the United States commitment to Taiwan's security in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, including Taiwan's procurement of sophisticated weapons of a defensive character, such as F-16 C/Ds aircraft and diesel electric submarines." The passage of the bill came just before the 35th anniversary of the TRA, which falls on April 10. The TRA was enacted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the U.S. and the people of Taiwan after Washington switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The statute pledges to help ensure peace, security and stability in the Western Pacific and to promote the foreign policy of the U.S. It also obliges the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character." (By Tony Liao, Y.F. Low and Elaine Hou)
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