Taiwan Relations Act

by UN

The US will preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the US and the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on China and all other people of the Western Pacific area.

Peace and stability in the area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the US, and are matters of international concern.

States that the US decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means and that any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes is considered a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the US.

States that the US shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.

Reaffirms as a commitment of the US the preservation of human rights of the people of Taiwan.

Declares that in furtherance of the principle of maintaining peace and stability in the Western Pacific area, the US shall make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capacity as determined by the President and the Congress. Requires such determination of Taiwan’s defense needs to be reviewed by US military authorities in connection with recommendations to the President and the Congress.

The US President should inform Congress promptly of:

  • threats to the security or the social or economic system of the people on Taiwan
  • any danger to the US interests arising from such threats.

The President and Congress shall determine the response to any such danger.

The absence of diplomatic relations with or recognition of Taiwan shall not affect U.S. laws relating to Taiwan.

The President or any department and agency can conduct and carry out programs, transactions, and other relations with respect to the people on Taiwan, including, but not limited to, the performance of services for the US through contracts with commercial entities in Taiwan, in accordance with applicable laws of the US.

The withdrawal of diplomatic recognition of the Taiwan Government shall not affect, including actions in all US courts, the ownership of, or other rights or interests in, real property or other things of value, nor the contractual obligations and debts of the people on Taiwan.

Whenever the application or a rule of law of the US depends upon the law applied on Taiwan or compliance with such law, the law applied by the people on Taiwan shall be considered the applicable law for that purpose.

Any US agency, commission, or department cannot deny an export license application or revoking an existing export license for nuclear exports to the people on Taiwan based on the lack of diplomatic recognition by the US of the Government of Taiwan.

Permits Taiwan to be treated in the manner specified in the selection system for a separate immigration quota for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Allows Taiwan to sue and be sued in courts in the US, in accordance with US laws.

All treaties and international agreements which were in force between the US and Taiwan, known as the Republic of China, on December 31, 1978, and that multilateral conventions to which the US and Taiwan are contracting parties shall continue in force between the US and Taiwan unless terminated in accordance with law.

The people on Taiwan has continued membership in any international financial institution or international organization.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation can provide insurance, reinsurance, loans, or guaranties for projects on Taiwan during the 3-year period from the date of enactment of this Act, unrestricted by the $1,000 per capita income restriction of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

US-Taiwan relations can be conducted by or through the American Institute in Taiwan (or such comparable successor nongovernmental entity as the President may designate) and an instrumentality established by the people of Taiwan.

The Institute may authorize any of its employees in Taiwan to perform, including, but not limited to:

  • administration or taking from any person an oath
  • affirmation, affidavit, or deposition and any other acts such as are authorized to be performed for consular purposes which assist or protect the persons and property of citizens or entities of US nationality.

The Institute shall be treated as a tax-exempt organization.

U.S. departments and agencies can furnish and accept service to and from the Institute.

The President can extend to the instrumentality established by the people on Taiwan the same number of offices and complement of personnel as previously operated in the US by the government recognized as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979.

The President can extend to the instrumentality established by the people on Taiwan privileges and immunities comparable to those provided to missions of foreign countries, upon the condition that similar privileges and immunities are extended on a reciprocal basis to the Institute.

U.S. departments and agencies allow Federal officers and employees to separate from Federal service and accept employment with the Institute.

Such employees will be reinstated with their former department or agency with no loss of rights and benefits.

Alien employees of U.S. departments and agencies be transferred to the Institute. Stipulates that employees of the Institute shall not be Federal employees. Exempts certain amounts received by employees of the Institute from taxation.

The Secretary of State must transmit to the Congress the text of any agreement to which the Institute is a part (or to the appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives if such disclosure would be prejudicial to the national security of the US).

The Secretary must report to the Congress every six months on the economic relations between the US and the people on Taiwan.

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate will monitor:

  • the implementation of the provisions of this Act
  • the operation and procedures of the Institute
  • the legal and technical aspects of the continuing relationship between the US and Taiwan
  • the implementation of the policies of the US concerning security and cooperation in East Asia.

The necessary funds to carry out the provisions of this Act will be appropriated.

This Act is effective as of January 1, 1979.


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