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 Press Release by Members of Congress who co-introduced the amendment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Will Adams

June 28, 2006

202.226.6997

House Votes to Lift Various Diplomatic Restrictions on Taiwan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), a member of the House International Relations Committee, was joined by Congressmen Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in offering an amendment that would lift some restrictions on the U.S.’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The amendment passed the House by voice vote this afternoon.

 “Lifting these humiliating restrictions will force State Department bureaucrats to treat Taiwan as an equal partner in freedom and democracy,” said Tancredo. “China shouldn’t control our foreign policy, Americans should.”

 “The State Department’s ‘Guidelines on Relations with Taiwan’ are an unnecessary roadblock to clear communication between United States officials and their counterparts in Taipei. The removal of these restrictions – which placed strict limitations on how Taiwanese officials were to be addressed, where meetings could take place and what celebrations could be attended – will enable the United States to more effectively communicate and interact with a close friend and one of the strongest Asian democracies,” said Andrews. “In approving this amendment, the House voted for respecting democracy and human rights abroad.”

 “We should treat Taiwan like we treat our other allies,” said Chabot. “Let’s do the right thing and scrap these counterproductive guidelines that prevent high level U.S. officials from communicating with their counterparts in Taiwan.”

 "Taiwan is a model of economic growth and democracy that should be emulated around the world, but we have senseless guidelines that keep the Taiwanese leadership from coming to the United States. I support today's amendment which would allow U.S. officials to communicate with representatives of Taiwan's democratically elected government,” said Brown.

The amendment to the Science, State, Justice, Commerce Appropriations Bill would roll back a State Department memo which sets several arbitrary restrictions on communication between Taiwan and the U.S. The restrictions include: 

  1. Meetings between executive branch personnel and Taiwan representatives may not occur in the State Department buildings, the White House, or the Old Executive Office Building.
  1. Executive branch personnel from the foreign affairs agencies (CIA, DOD, White House, State, and NSC), nor any other executive branch employee above the rank of GS-14 may attend the annual October 10 reception in Washington hosted by Taiwan’s mission in the U.S. commemorating the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official national name)
  1. Executive branch personnel are not permitted to attend functions at the Twin Oaks estate in Washington.
  1. Officials from the DOD and State above the rank of office director or the rank of Colonel or Navy Captain may not travel to Taiwan on “official business.”  Executive branch officials at or above Assistant Secretary (State) or Three Star flag officers (Military) may not travel to Taiwan for personal travel without advance clearance from State.  All travel must be on “tourist” rather than “official” passports.
  1. Executive branch personnel may not officially correspond through the mail directly with Taiwan officials unless their correspondence is first sent the American Institute in Taiwan (our ‘unofficial embassy’).  And any such correspondence may not be on letterhead, nor may it contain the official title of the author.  Personal correspondence between executive branch personnel and Taiwan officials (like thank you notes) are subject to the same restrictions.
  1. Executive branch officials are not permitted to refer to Taiwan by its official name “Republic of China”, nor can they refer to Taiwan’s government as a “government.”  Instead, the term “Taiwan Authorities” must be used.  It also prevents Executive branch personnel from referring to the people who live in Taiwan as “Taiwanese” – instead, it requires them to refer to these people as “people on Taiwan.”

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