U.S. Position on Taiwan Will Not Waver
In many ways, the 2018 American midterm elections represented a massive change in Washington; Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives by a wide margin, while the Republicans slightly increased their control over the Senate. But there is one area in which this change will not be felt: U.S. policy towards Taiwan.
Congress has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan, and this bipartisan position will continue even with a flip in the House. More importantly, hardening resistance to Beijing and strengthening cooperation with Taiwan will be mutually reinforcing, not only within this administration and legislature but even beyond Donald Trump’s presidency.
The U.S. Congress is at once the holder of considerable power and impotent in foreign affairs. Its power primarily derives from its constitutional control of the budget, the ability to declare war and critical oversight over federal agencies through authorisations and investigations. Its impotence stems from its consistent abdication of these foreign policy capabilities to the president, as Congress has ceded most decision-making power to the executive branch—the most recent example being its lack of desire to act on trade negotiations, such as tariffs.
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