The bipartisan act was jointly introduced into the U.S. Senate by Senators Edward Markey and Marco Rubio, and concurrently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Ted Yoho and Ami Bera. In announcing the new act on June 26, 2020, Senator Markey stated that “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. 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.”
Representative Yoho also characterized the Taiwan Fellowship Act as a long overdue investment by Washington to support the professional development of Taiwan experts in the U.S. federal government.
Raymond Burghardt, former Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and a founding board member of the Western Pacific Fellowship Project, welcomed the Taiwan Fellowship Act as a positive step forward in U.S.-Taiwan ties. He noted that it built on important recent Congressional initiatives addressing U.S.-Taiwan ties, including the TAIPEI Act, the Taiwan Travel Act, and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act.
The Taiwan Fellowship Act also explicitly reinforces the U.S. commitment “to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan,” as stated in the Taiwan Relations Act.