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HomeInsightsCampaigns & ElectionsAhead of Taiwan election, US lawmakers introduce resolutions in support of democracy...

Ahead of Taiwan election, US lawmakers introduce resolutions in support of democracy in Taiwan

USA / TAIWAN – US Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of SASC and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bipartisan resolution commending Taiwan for its commitment to democratic elections and institutions, despite ongoing threats from the Chinese Communist Party.

This resolution comes prior to Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and legislative elections set to occur on Saturday, January 13, Sen. Sullivan has repeatedly praised Taiwan for its democratic achievements.

“This is a volatile and potentially dangerous time,” Sen. Sullivan said. “Between the election on January 13 and the inauguration in May, the United States needs to show steady, unwavering commitment and resolve in support of Taiwan’s democracy and critically we need to enhance cross-strait deterrence now. This will be Taiwan’s eighth presidential election. In my own career, I deployed as part of a Marine Corps task force on the eve of China’s first presidential election when Beijing was threatening to invade Taiwan and shooting missiles over the island.

“Today, Taiwan is considered one of the freest countries in the world. Every Taiwan election threatens the central premise of the Chinese Communist Party – that one dictator ruling in perpetuity knows what’s best for 1.4 billion people. Millions of Chinese on the mainland will be watching Taiwan’s upcoming election and asking the question, ‘Why can’t we do that?’ This is a giant vulnerability for Xi Jinping.”

“Taiwan is a thriving democracy and one of our closest partners in the Indo-Pacific region. In light of Taiwan’s upcoming elections, the US should stand strong in support of Taiwan’s democratic institutions, and it’s important that the Taiwanese people know that they have our support. This resolution sends a clear message that any interference by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 2024 elections will not be tolerated and reaffirms our commitment to a continuing partnership with a free and democratic Taiwan,” said Sen. Kaine.

Resolution

Commending Taiwan for its history of democratic elections, and expressing support of Taiwan in the preservation of its democratic institutions.

Whereas Taiwan, the government of which officially calls itself the Republic of China (ROC),  began transitioning to a liberal democracy in the late 1980s, lifting martial law in 1987 and holding the first direct legislative election in 1992 and the first direct presidential election in 1996;

Whereas Taiwan has now held 7 presidential, 9 legislative, and many local elections since the democratic transition, all of which were free, fair, and representative of the will of the people of Taiwan;

Whereas Taiwan has peacefully transferred presidential power between political parties 3 times and peacefully transferred parliamentary power between political parties 3 times;

Whereas the peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock of a free, stable, and representative political system; Whereas the democratic institutions of Taiwan codify the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion into law, and the citizens of Taiwan have exercised these freedoms in practice, building a vibrant civil society, strong journalistic and media sector, and an advanced business community;

Whereas the rule of law and vibrant civil society, diverse economy, and stable political system form the basis for the prosperity and freedoms of Taiwan, which rank far above the global average;

Whereas the liberty enjoyed by the residents of Taiwan stands in stark contrast to the ‘‘dictatorship of the proletariat’’ experienced by the residents of the People’s Republic of China;

Whereas, from 1949 until today, the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan have stood as partners against coercion, threats of war, and armed attacks from the People’s Republic of China; and

Whereas, on January 13, 2024, Taiwan will hold its eighth presidential election and tenth legislative election since beginning the transition to democracy, after which a new president, vice president, and legislature will take office: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate –

(1) commends Taiwan for the example it has set for self-governance, not just for the Pacific region, but for the world;

(2) regards the democracy of Taiwan as a great strategic strength for the free world and an indispensable component of contemporary United States-Taiwan relations;

(3) remains concerned about interference in Taiwan’s 2024 elections by the Chinese Communist Party;

(4) is committed to continuing a strong partnership across diplomatic, information, military, economic, and cultural domains, regardless of the outcome of Taiwan’s 2024 elections; and

(5) is committed to supporting Taiwan’s self-defense and the liberty of its people through effective deterrence using all elements of United States power.

Taiwan president Tsai 2024 New Year’s Address

Support of Democracy in Taiwan

Meanwhile, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), and Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, introduced a resolution commending Taiwan for its history of democratic elections and expressing support for Taiwan’s democratic institutions.

The resolution was cosponsored in the House by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the chairman and ranking member of the select committee on the strategic competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced a companion resolution in the US Senate.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that the United States stands in total solidarity with Taiwan and its commitment to democracy,” said Congressman Connolly. “In the face of relentless threats and intimidation from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan’s leadership as a global leader in public health, advanced manufacturing, and democratic governance underscore the importance of protecting democratic institutions and rejecting authoritarianism at home and abroad.”

“The United States and Taiwan share core values, including a commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The robust relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan is key to our national security, benefits the global community and is critical to prosperity in the region. As Taiwan faces growing threats to its democracy and security from Communist China, this resolution reaffirms our unwavering commitment to Taiwan,” said Congressman Díaz-Balart.

“Taiwan stands as a vibrant democracy and a shining beacon of freedom and the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific. I commend the people of Taiwan on the upcoming eighth presidential election, a testament to their strong commitment to democratic governance despite disinformation and coercion from Beijing. The United States remains steadfast in support of the people of Taiwan and our shared commitment to democratic values and the rule of law,” said Congressman Bera.

“Taiwan is a trusted partner for the United States and maintains the right to conduct free and fair elections,” said Congressman Barr. “With the Chinese Communist Party increasing aggression toward Taiwan, it is more important now than ever that we renew our commitment to support a democratic Taiwan.”

“As the Chinese Communist Party ramps up disinformation about Taiwan, democracies around the world must support Taiwan’s democratic process,” said chairman McCaul. “This resolution affirms Congress’ support of Taiwan as a beacon of democracy in the Indo-Pacific and the Taiwanese people’s wishes.”

The full text of the resolution is available here

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