Summary: S.245 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (03/13/1979)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #17 (90-6))

Taiwan Enabling Act - =Title I:= - Authorizes continued relations with the people of Taiwan and the Pescadores, which shall not be affected by the lack of diplomatic recognition of the government of Taiwan. Defines the term "people on Taiwan", as used in this Act, to include the governing authority on Taiwan, recognized by the United States prior to January 1, 1979, as the Republic of China; its agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions, the people governed by it; or the organizations and other entities formed under the law applied by the people on Taiwan. Continues all treaties and other international agreements entered into between the United States and the Government recognized as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979, unless terminated by law.

Provides for relations between the United States and Taiwan to be conducted by or through the American Institute in Taiwan and an instrumentality established by the people of Taiwan.

Allows the authorities on Taiwan to have access to United States courts, provided the United States and the Institute have access to the courts on Taiwan.

Authorizes the President or any department and agency to 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 United States through contracts with commercial entities in Taiwan, in accordance with applicable laws of the United States.

Directs the Institute to strengthen and expand the ties between the people of the United States and all the people on Taiwan; to promote full human rights for all the people on Taiwan; and to provide adequate personnel and facilities.

Stipulates that whenever the application or a rule of law of the United States 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.

Stipulates that withdrawal of diplomatic recognition of the Government on Taiwan shall not affect, for all purposes including actions in all United States 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.

Directs the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to provide insurance, reinsurance, loans, or guaranties for projects on Taiwan. Requires the President to report, within five years after the date of enactment of this Act, to the Congress whether the waiver of the per capita income restriction should be continued in light of economic conditions prevailing on Taiwan on the date of such report.

Authorizes and requests the President to 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.

Authorizes the President to extend to the instrumentality established by the people on Taiwan the same number of offices and complement of personnel as previously operated in the United States by the government recognized as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979, upon the condition that the Institute on Taiwan is reciprocally allowed such offices and personnel.

Declares it to be the policy of the United States to: (1) consider any effort to resolve the Taiwan issue by other than peaceful means, including boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States; (2) maintain American military assistance to Taiwan; and (3) act to meet any threat to the security of Taiwan and any danger to the interests of the United States in accordance with all applicable constitutional and statutory requirements. Directs the President to inform the Congress promptly of any threat to the security or the social or economic system of Taiwan and any danger to the interests of the United States arising from such threat.

Requires the President to report annually to the appropriate committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the status of arms sales of major defense equipment or of any other defense articles or defense services which are considered eligible for approval during the next fiscal year and which are requested by or proposed for the people on Taiwan.

Provides for the continued membership of the people on Taiwan in any international financial institution or any other international organization despite the lack of diplomatic recognition of the Government of Taiwan.

Prohibits any United States agency, commission, or department to deny an export license application or to revoke an existing export license for nuclear exports to the people on Taiwan based on the lack of diplomatic recognition by the United States of the Government of Taiwan.

=Title II:= Authorizes U.S. departments and agencies to furnish and accept service to and from the Institute. Stipulates that alien employees of U.S. departments and agencies be transferred to the Institute. Authorizes U.S. departments and agencies to allow Federal officers and employees to separate from Federal service and accept employment with the Institute. Provides for the reinstatement of such employees with their former department or agency with no loss of rights and benefits.

Stipulates that the Institute shall be treated as a tax-exempt organization and shall not be an agency or instrumentality of the United States. Stipulates that employees of the Institute shall not be Federal employees. Exempts certain amounts received by employees of the Institute from taxation.

Sets forth the duties 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 duties in keeping with the purposes of this Act and otherwise authorized by law which assist or protect the persons and property of citizens or entities of United States nationality.

=Title III:= - Authorizes the appropriation of funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Authorizes the Secretary of State to use such funds to maintain commercial, cultural, and other relations with Taiwan.

=Title IV:= - Requires the Secretary of State to transmit to the Congress the text of any agreement to which the Institute is a party (or to the appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives if such disclosure would be prejudicial to the national security of the United States).

Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress every six months on the economic relations between the United States and the people on Taiwan.

Requires the President to notify the Congress 30 days prior to the issuance to the People's Republic of China of any license as required by the Armed Export Control Act.

=Title V: Joint Commission on Security and Cooperation in East Asia= - Establishes, for a three year period, the Joint Commission on Security and Cooperation in East Asia which shall monitor: (1) the implementation of the provisions of this Act; (2) the operation and procedures of the American Institute in Taiwan; (3) the legal and technical aspects of the continuing relationship between the United States and the people on Taiwan; and (4) the implementation of the policies of the United States concerning security and cooperation in East Asia. Requires the Commission to report, together with legislative recommendations, semiannually to the Congress and the President on the progress achieved in and the problems arising from the maintenance of cultural, commercial, and other relations with the people on Taiwan.

=Title VI:= - Makes this Act effective January 1, 1979.