ABSTRACT

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues [July 23, 2013]   [open pdf - 534KB]

"The purpose and scope of this CRS [Congressional Research Service] report is to provide a succinct overview with analysis of the major issues in the U.S. policy on Taiwan. This report will be updated as warranted. Taiwan formally calls itself the sovereign Republic of China (ROC), tracing its political lineage to the ROC set up after the revolution in 1911 in China. The ROC government retreated to Taipei in 1949. The United States recognized the ROC until the end of 1978 and has maintained a non-diplomatic relationship with Taiwan after recognition of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing in 1979. The State Department claims an 'unofficial' U.S. relationship with Taiwan, despite official contacts that include arms sales. The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979, P.L. 96-8, has governed policy in the absence of a diplomatic relationship or a defense treaty. Other key statements that guide policy are the three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqués of 1972, 1979, and 1982; as well as the 'Six Assurances' of 1982. (See also CRS Report RL30341, 'China/Taiwan: Evolution of the 'One China' Policy--Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei'.) For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. In 2012, Taiwan was the 11th-largest U.S. trading partner. Taiwan is a major innovator and producer of information technology (IT) products, many of which are assembled in the PRC by Taiwan-invested firms there. Ties or tension across the Taiwan Strait affect international security (with potential U.S. intervention), the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and U.S.- PRC cooperation. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is in reality an important autonomous actor. Today, 23 countries (including the Vatican) have diplomatic relations with Taiwan as the ROC. Taiwan's 23 million people enjoy self-governance with democratic elections. After Taiwan's presidential election in 2008, the United States congratulated Taiwan as a 'beacon of democracy.'"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41952
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2013-07-23
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
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Format:
pdf
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application/pdf
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