Tiffany, Perry Introduce Bill to Scrap “One China Policy,” Expand Diplomatic, Economic Ties with Taiwan

March 1, 2021
Press Release
Resolution Calls on Biden to Resume Normal Bilateral Relations, Make Trade Deal with Taipei

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Reps. Tom Tiffany (WI-07) and Scott Perry (PA-10) introduced legislation calling for the U.S. to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and end the outdated and counter-productive “One China Policy.” The bill (H. Con. Res. 21) also directs the Biden administration to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations, and to initiate negotiations with Taipei on crafting a U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement. 

“For more than 40 years, American presidents of both political parties have repeated Beijing’s bogus lie that Taiwan is part of Communist China – despite the objective reality that it is not,” said Tiffany. “It is time to do away with this outdated policy.”

“As an independent Nation that proudly collaborates with Taiwan across a wide spectrum of issues, it’s long past time The United States exercised our sovereign right to state what the world knows to be true: Taiwan is an independent country, and has been for over 70 years,” said Perry. 

The U.S. maintained normal diplomatic relations with the government in Taiwan until 1979, when then-President Jimmy Carter abruptly cut off formal ties with Taipei and recognized the Communist regime in Beijing.

Lawmakers responded by approving the bipartisan Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the cornerstone of continued U.S. ties with the island.  President Reagan upgraded the relationship during his term with the “Six Assurances,” which made clear that the U.S. did not recognize Communist Chinese claims of sovereignty over Taiwan.

Despite the TRA and the “Six Assurances,” the U.S. still lacks formal ties with Taiwan, inexplicably treating the island’s democratically elected government the same way it treats brutal regimes in North Korea and Iran from a diplomatic perspective – and in a category worse than that of Cuba’s dictatorship, which President Obama and Vice President Biden recognized during their second term.

In 2020, Tiffany proposed an amendment to the annual Pentagon spending bill that sought to rescind a set of unproductive, self-imposed restrictions limiting communications between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. While House Democrats refused to allow a vote on the amendment at the time, Secretary Pompeo later enacted the policy, scrapping the so-called “guidelines” and enabling greater communication and coordination between Taipei and Washington. It is unclear whether the Biden administration will roll back the changes under pressure from Beijing.

“America doesn’t need a permission slip from the Chinese Communist Party to talk to its friends and partners around the world,” added Tiffany. “Taiwan is a free, democratic and independent country, and it’s time U.S. policy reflected that fact.”

Introduction of the legislation coincides with the anniversary of a February 28, 1947 incident in Taiwan, known as the “228 massacre”, in which thousands of civilians were killed by security forces. The date is often cited as the event that triggered Taiwan’s democratic transformation.