Six US senators, including former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, have proposed a bill to allow interaction between American and Taiwanese officials at all levels.
The bill, the Taiwan Travel Act, says that US officials, including those at cabinet level, as well as national security and military officials, should be able to hold meetings with their Taiwanese counterparts without restriction.
There is no law or formal policy that prevents such interactions from taking place. But in practice, official exchanges have only taken place at lower levels since official ties between the two sides were broken off in 1979. Senator Rubio said the United States should strengthen its ties with Taiwan at a time when China is seeking to close off Taiwan's international space. He called Taiwan an active and democratic partner.
The bill has been proposed by Republican senators Rubio, Jim Inhofe and Cory Gardner, as well as Democratic senators Sherrod Brown, Bob Menendez and Gary Peters.
Senator Rubio has met President Tsai Ing-wen in person. The Florida senator visited the president at her hotel while she was on a stopover in Miami en route to Panama last year.
Source: Radio Taiwan International