H. Con. Res. 88, Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as cornerstones of United States–Taiwan relations

H.Con.Res. 88

Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as cornerstones of United States–Taiwan relations

Date
May 16, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 16, 2016, the House will consider H. Con. Res 88, Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as cornerstones of United States–Taiwan relations, under suspension of the rules. H. Con. Res.88 was introduced on October 28, 2015 by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs which ordered the bill reported in the Nature of a Substitute by Unanimous Consent on April 20, 2016.

 

Bill Summary

H. Con. Res. 88 affirms that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are both cornerstones of United States relations with Taiwan. This legislation also urges the President and the Department of State to affirm the Six Assurances publically, proactively, and consistently as a cornerstone of United States-Taiwan relations.

 

Background

The United States and Taiwan maintain what the U.S. Department of State calls “a robust unofficial relationship.” The relationship has been unofficial since January 1, 1979, when the Carter Administration established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (China) and ended formal diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan). In the absence of diplomatic relations, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA, P.L. 96-8), enacted on April 10, 1979, provides a legal basis for the U.S. relationship with Taiwan. It also includes U.S. commitments related to Taiwan’s security.[1] In 1982, President Ronald Reagan also gave “Six Assurances” to Taiwan. The assurances included assurances that Washington will not mediate between Taipei and Beijing, and will not pressure Taipei to negotiate with Beijing.[2]

According to Chairman Ed Royce, “Congress has long championed a strong relationship with Taiwan through landmark measures like the Taiwan Relations Act, and through pressing successive administrations to fulfil their obligation to sell defensive arms to Taiwan…our committee is once again reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Taiwan by upholding the Six Assurances as one of the cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan policy, right alongside the Taiwan Relations Act.[3]

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[1] See CRS In Focus, “Taiwan: Select Political and Security Issues,” January 27, 2016.
[2]  See CRS Report, “China/Taiwan: Evolution of the “One China” Policy – Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei,” January 5, 2015.
[3] Foreign Affairs Committee Press Release, “House Foreign Affairs Committee Reaffirms Taiwan Relations Act,” April 20, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently unavailable.

 

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.