The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passed two bills on Tuesday aimed at bolstering “the critical U.S.-Taiwan partnership,” according to a statement. One bill, called the Taiwan Travel Act, encouraged high-level visits between Washington along with Taipei “at all levels of government” while the second addressed Taiwan’s exclusion coming from the entire world Health Organization.
Currently, the State Department enforces self-imposed restrictions on official travel due to the unofficial nature of the bilateral alliance.
Once Sino-U.S. ties were established in 1979, Washington cut off diplomatic links with Taipei in adherence with Beijing’s “One China” policy, which recognizes the East Asian island as part of China. Since then, no Taiwanese leader has formally visited the White House, yet that will could change if Tuesday’s bill gets signed into law.
Washington still maintains cultural, commercial along with security ties with Taipei.
A state-run Chinese newspaper denounced the bill’s passage, saying the idea could shake political ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration.