Wanted: A Leader on U.S.–Taiwan Relations

Walter Lohman /

It’s official: There are now 100 countries that offer Taiwanese citizens visa-free travel. Malaysia has the honor of hitting the century mark—following closely behind Australia and Montenegro, which announced their decisions last week. An EU visa waiver for Taiwan went into effect this past January.

The U.S. has still not made it across the finish line. The Obama Administration is lumbering behind, weighted down by bureaucracy, a sclerotic and out-of-date Taiwan policy, and inattention. Taiwan is now under the 3 percent visa refusal rate—an ill-conceived requirement to begin with, but one that Taiwan now meets. Taiwan has instituted a pilot program requiring in-person application procedures to get past another American roadblock. That should be done and applied nationwide by July 1. There are other requirements: agreements on the exchange of passenger information and stolen or lost passports, law enforcement cooperation, and other security certifications. (more…)