U.S. lawmakers reaffirm support for Taiwan

A number of U.S. senators and congressmen expressed their support for Taiwan following the termination of diplomatic ties between the nation and El Salvador Tuesday, as El Salvador decided to switch ties to China, allegedly for financial aid.

The Central American nation, which established diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1933, switched its loyalty from Taiwan to China after Taiwan refused to invest an "astronomical sum" of money in its Port of La Union development project, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To voice the U.S. support for Taiwan and condemn El Salvador for abandoning its old democratic ally in favor of a communist regime, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced an amendment to H.R. 6157, the Minibus Appropriations bill on restricting U.S. funding to the Central American nation, a statement on Gardner's official website said Tuesday.

"I urge for it [the amendment] to be included in the final bill. This amendment will send a direct message to Taiwan's allies that the United States will use every tool to support Taiwan's standing on the international stage and will stand up to China's bullying tactics across the world," said Gardner, who is also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy of the United States.

Gardner also warned El Salvador that the wrong decision "will negatively influence United States relations with El Salvador."

In a similar vein, Rubio described El Salvador's decision to be "a grave mistake that harms relations with the U.S. and will likely prove to be costly and short-sighted, given what we know about China's 'debt traps' and economic exploitation globally."

Concerning the current changes in diplomatic relations between Taiwan and El Salvador, Tom Cotton, the U.S. Senator for Arkansas, urged China to refrain from interfering in Taiwan's diplomatic relations with other countries on his website: "Proud, confident nations that aspire to great power status don't obsess about the diplomatic relations of their small neighbors."

In response to the severance of ties, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, both for the State of Florida, expressed disapproval on Twitter of China's attempt to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.

Albio Sires, a congressman serving the 8th District of New Jersey, voiced his concern on his official website over the "growing Chinese influence in the region that has caused multiple countries to break with Taiwan in favor of Chinese investment."

The congressman warned the nations that Chinese promises of investment "are little more than empty promises that do not create real jobs, only benefit Beijing in the long run, and do not provide any real assistance to the hardworking people they claim to benefit."

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel