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 FAPA Press Release on SSJC FY 2007 Amendment

Click here for the press release by the four Members that introduced the amendment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                    June 28, 2006



Over the past years, the United States Congress has expressed support for expanding U.S.-Taiwan high-level communications and visits.

Today, for the first time ever though, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote an amendment initiated by Rep. Thomas Tancredo, and supported by Reps. Robert Andrews, Steve Chabot and Sherrod Brown. The amendment, attached to the Fiscal Year 2007 Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations bill, offered to remove current restrictions on the communications and exchange between Taiwanese officials and their U.S. counterparts.

The amendment (Section 801) reads “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to enforce any of the provisions in the Memorandum to all Department and Agency Executive Secretaries dated, February 2, 2001 and entitled, [Guidelines on Relations with Taiwan]”. 

According to this 2001 memo, Taiwanese diplomats or elected officials cannot meet in Department of State buildings, the White House. Executive branch personnel cannot attend meetings at Twin Oaks. State and Defense Department officials above a certain rank cannot travel to Taiwan…etc. If and when the Senate passed this amendment, all restrictions listed in the 2001 memo will be lifted by law.

This is the first time the United States Congress introduced binding languages on the issue and the first time Congress restricts appropriated government funds to lift the restrictions. This is also the first time Congress directly challenges the Administration’s guidelines on such restrictions.

The Chairman of the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations subcommittee, Frank Wolf (R-VA), voiced his strong support for the amendment when the amendment was up for debate on the House floor. Rep. Wolf argued that such restrictions should be imposed on Beijing instead; not on Taiwan.

In a related development, the co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced SCR 106, calling for the complete removal of restrictions on high-level visits by Taiwanese officials to the United States. This is the first resolution introduced in the Senate in recent years that addressed this issue.

FAPA President C.T. Lee states: “Today is a historic day! Advancements were made in removing the restrictions on the high-level communications and visits between Taiwan and the U.S. in both chambers of the U.S. Congress. It is difficult to imagine that we even need regulations for our diplomats on how to write a simple thank you note to their Taiwanese counterparts. Such arcane, mundane and ridiculous restrictions only waste the time and energy of our diplomats, let alone waste the tax payers’ money.”

C.T. Lee concludes: “The actions taken by the Senate and the House solidify the United States Congress’ firmest support for Taiwan’s democracy. Passage of this amendment in the Senate will substantially improve direct dialogue and exchange between the two countries. Today is the watershed moment in normalizing diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the U.S.” 


FAPA 新聞稿】                                                                                                                                 2006628日】



除了眾議院在此項議題上大獲展獲之外,參議院也於昨日由參議院台灣連線艾倫(George Allen, R-VA)與強森(Tim Johnson, D-SD),共同引進第106號決議案,支持台灣高層官員自由訪美。此決議案與眾議院由夏波與布朗於日前引進的第381號決議案相互呼應。這是美國參議院近年來首度就台灣高層訪美引進決議案。



撥款委員會裡的科學、國務院、司法與商業部小組主席沃爾夫(Frank Wolf, R-VA)在眾議院會場發言時,大力支持這項條款,他認為這些不合理的限制,應該套用在與中國政府的交往上,而不是在台美關係上。 



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