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AIT's chairman isn't optimistic that 'dangerous' US navy port calls will happen: report

TAIPEI, Taiwan — American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty said Tuesday that it would be 'dangerous' for U.S. naval vessels to visit Taiwan, according to the Central News Agency.

A U.S. Senate committee passed a provision to re-establish port calls in Taiwan last month.

"To state the obvious, it would be very difficult and perhaps dangerous for U.S. naval ships to go into a port in Taiwan," Moriaty said in response to a question in Washington, CNA reported.

"What has happened as far as I understand is that it's come out of a Senate committee and of course that's a long way from becoming U.S. legislation, and as I understand it's a sense of the Senate so it's not a binding legislative requirement," he said.

In late June, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the bill to allow U.S. navy ships to make stops at ports in Taiwan, in what would be a major change in U.S. policy.

The committee voted 21-6 across party lines in favor of "regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung or any other suitable ports in Taiwan and permits U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan."

The bill would roll back four decades of U.S. policy in Asia. Washington has deferred to China regarding navy port calls ever since switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

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