House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has ended, but the Joe Biden administration still needs to cool the temperature in Congress when it comes to US policy on the island.
The Biden administration is now trying to make changes to a bipartisan bill that would revisit long-standing US-Taiwan policies in favor of a more aggressive stance.
The bill, dubbed the Taiwan Policy Act, aims to bolster Taiwan's defenses and deepen US ties with the island.
But the Biden administration is trying to curb congressional belligerence when it comes to China and Taiwan -- this time by rejecting a popular bipartisan bill that the White House fears could cast doubt on its assurances to Beijing of maintaining the "one China" policy.
After saying last week that the bill "contradicts" President Joe Biden's diplomatic powers and efforts, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told POLITICO that "we look forward to working with Congress" on the bill.
Lawmakers said the administration's response to both Pelosi's trip and the new legislative move showed it was too cautious.
The legislation, originally introduced by the Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, represents the most dramatic shake-up to U.S.-Taiwan relations since the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, which has defined U.S. policy on the issue since 1979 as aid to Taiwan and, among among other things, gives the island the status of "a major ally of the United States, not a member of NATO."
The Biden administration has already proposed amendments that the senators were going to make to the final bill.