The outgoing chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia and the Pacific warned about Chinese intervention in Taiwanese elections.
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who could end up leading Republicans on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, weighed in on Tuesday on the matter.
“I’m concerned by the widespread allegations that Beijing attempted to interfere in Taiwan’s local elections this weekend,” Yoho said. “The Chinese Communist Party’s reprehensible campaign to marginalize Taiwan is no secret. Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and upstanding international conduct are qualities the Communist Party should aspire to, rather than undermine.
“The U.S.-Taiwan partnership remains unwavering,” Yoho added. “I continue to encourage the administration to demonstrate this commitment by fully implementing the Taiwan Travel Act, beginning with a cabinet-level visit to Taiwan as soon as possible.”
Yoho has emerged as one of Taiwan’s leading champions on Capitol Hill in recent years.
At the start of the year, the House passed a bill from Yoho to help Taiwan become a full member of the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, for the first time in almost a decade, Taiwan was not invited to the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA). Two congresswomen from South Florida who sit on the Foreign Affairs Committee--Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrat Lois Frankel--cosponsored the bill.
Yoho has also thrown his support behind the Trump administration’s decision to resume arm sales with that nation, including a $1.4 billion package which includes torpedoes, missiles and radar systems.
In the summer of 2017, Yoho and other congressional leaders, including U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, visited several Asian nations including Taiwan.
Yoho noted that Taiwan is one of America’s strongest trading partners, ranking eight for U.S. agriculture exports and as the U.S.’s tenth largest trade partner overall. The North Florida Republican, who also sits on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, pointed to recent agreements as Taiwan plans to bring in 360 million bushels of U.S. grain which will sell for more than $2.8 billion.