Exchanges ten federal government employees to Taiwan annually, to broaden cooperation with Taiwan
Washington (June 26, 2020) - Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Asia Subcommittee and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Congressmen Ted S. Yoho (FL-03), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Asia Subcommittee, and Ami Bera (CA-07), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Asia Subcommittee announced the introduction of the Taiwan Fellowship Act. Modeled on the successful Mansfield Fellowship Program between the United States and Japan, the legislation establishes a two-year fellowship exchange program for federal government employees in all three branches of government to learn, live, and work in Taiwan. Upon successful conclusion of the program, fellows will return to federal government service better positioned to advance U.S. values and interests in the Indo Pacific region, with special emphasis in strengthening our strategic partnership with Taiwan.
“The U.S. strategic partnership with Taiwan’s vibrant democracy of 23 million people continues to grow from engagement and cooperation in areas such as trade, human rights and the rule of law, security, and battling a global pandemic,” said Ranking Member Markey. “The Taiwan Fellowship Act deepens that U.S. cooperation with Taiwan by creating lasting personal relationships and expertise that will endure long-past each fellow’s two year assignment to Taiwan. Amidst China’s concerted campaign to isolate Taiwan on the global stage, an exchange of our most qualified public servants to the island nation of Taiwan is a visible demonstration of our unwavering commitment to Taiwan. I thank the Massachusetts-based Western Pacific Fellowship Project for their leadership in seeding a concept to broaden U.S. government expertise and relationships in the most consequential region in the world.”
“I’m proud to join this bipartisan and bicameral effort that would create a fellowship program in Taiwan for U.S. government officials in order to continue strengthening our bilateral and cultural ties with Taipei,” said Senator Rubio. “Modeled after the successful Mansfield Fellowship with Japan, this program would add value to our nation’s efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific in line with American values and interests.”
“The Taiwan Fellowship Act is a long overdue investment in supporting the professional development of Taiwan experts in the United States federal government,” said Ranking Member Yoho. “This program will be instrumental in strengthening the US-Taiwan relationship by enabling federal employees in key government agencies to gain an insider’s perspective on the Indo-Pacific region through the eyes of a close friend and ally of the United States. The Taiwan Fellowship Act is an invaluable program that will strengthen American presence and expertise in the Indo-Pacific region for years to come and is essential to returning stability to a region increasingly under threat by the Chinese Communist Party.”
“The United States and Taiwan have a strong and robust partnership,” said Chairperson Bera. “The Taiwan Fellowship Act will further enhance this relationship by establishing an exchange program for U.S. federal employees to live and work in Taiwan, equipping them with a better knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region and better informing U.S. policy making upon their arrival back home. I am proud to work with Ranking Member Yoho on this important legislation.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
The United States has long maintained a robust positive relationship with Taiwan, and its strategic importance has only increased in response to provocations from the People’s Republic of China and their widely praised and effective response to the coronavirus pandemic. The establishment of this fellowship program serves as a recognition that strengthening ties with Taiwan is essential to maintaining prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.