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Posts tagged as “u.s. senate”

Progress in the Senate!

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act unanimously on October 15, 2019. It was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 25th. Since then, we have been waiting for the full Senate to take action on the bill. It has many co-sponsors, and the sponsors of the Senate bill have been getting impatient. Finally, we are seeing some action on this very important bill:

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is signaling that the bill will be voted on in the Senate soon. Let’s hope he follows through, and that it will be signed into law by President Trump very soon.

TAIPEI Act Passes Senate and House Committee

Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the TAIPEI Act, a bill that is intended to encourage countries to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and to punish with U.S. sanctions countries that break ties with Taiwan in favor of mainland China. The House version of the bill also passed unanimously in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

As reported by Taiwan News, members of the House spoke in favor of formal recognition of Taiwan as an independent country.

Of course, if Taiwan should declare full independence and the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as independent, the CCP will blow a gasket.

Our attitude is that if the CCP vehemently opposes something, it is almost certainly the right thing to do. We encourage the House to quickly pass the TAIPEI act and for President Trump to sign the bill into law.

Beyond that, it’s a fact that the People’s Republic of China and the CCP have never controlled Taiwan, and the CCP’s claims on Taiwan are completely illegitimate. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, and should be recognized as such.

Nevertheless, the CCP’s military threats against Taiwan cannot be ignored. Xi Jinping has said that if Taiwan declares itself an independent country, the CCP will take military action, invading Taiwan to forcibly integrate it into the People’s Republic of China. (Ironically, to claim independence, Taiwan – the Republic of China -would have to give up its historical claims as the legitimate government of the Chinese mainland). So, before declaring independence, Taiwan would need formal defense treaties with the U.S. and neighboring countries. It is unlikely that will happen any time soon, so for now, supporting Taiwan through arms sales, consultation, diplomatic measures (like the TAIPEI Act) and so on is the most likely – and probably the correct – path forward for the time being.

Taiwan is an example of what mainland China could be – a free and open democratic nation where the rights and opinions of its citizens are protected and respected. Its peaceful transition from a dictatorial regime under the Kuomintang to a true democracy is an inspiration to the world.

U.S. Senators Warn China Against Violent Crackdown on H.K Protesters

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland) and Cory Gardner (Republican chair of Senate East Asia Committee, Colorado) both warned China against a violent crackdown on HK protesters. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader has also warned China that a violent crackdown on the protesters would be “completely unacceptable.”

Cardin, a Democrat, has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would require the U.S. government to provide annual justification for the continuation of special treatment afforded to Hong Kong.
A 1992 U.S. law affords Hong Kong preferential treatment in matters of trade and economics compared with China. Areas of special treatment include visas, law enforcement and investment.

Reuters

Republican Senator Marco Rubio is a co-sponsor of Cardin’s bill, so these warnings to China are bipartisan and serious. Hopefully, China will negotiate with the protesters in good faith, honoring the guarantees made to the people of Hong Kong at the time of the transition back to China. A strong, vibrant, free economic and political system will allow Hong Kong to be be much more valuable to China than an oppressed and fearful Hong Kong. Beijing needs to overcome its fear of political freedom.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Says a Crackdown in Hong Kong Would be “Completely Unacceptable”

Reuters China reports that the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said that a violent crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong would be “completely unacceptable.”

“The people of Hong Kong are bravely standing up to the Chinese Communist Party as Beijing tries to encroach on their autonomy and freedom,” McConnell wrote in tweet.
“Any violent crackdown would be completely unacceptable. … The world is watching.”

Reuters China quoting Mitch McConnell

The world is watching. China should negotiate in good faith and honor the agreements that were made when Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control.

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