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US senator flies flag for Taiwan on its National Day

Ted Cruz calls for Washington to loosen restrictions on exchanges with Taiwan

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. 

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz on Friday (Oct. 9) issued a statement recognizing Taiwan’s National Day and at the same time urged Washington to relax restrictions on exchanges with Taiwan.

In a statement posted on his website, Cruz said that even in the face of growing hostility, “Taiwan has stood strong against the Chinese Communist Party’s oppression and bullying tactics.” He added “the U.S. is proud to stand with the people of Taiwan."

Cruz visited Taiwan in October 2019 to attend the National Day celebrations, making him the first U.S. senator to attend such an event in nearly 35 years. It was also his first visit to the nation.

Cruz emphasized the U.S. should not “should not do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party.” Therefore, he reasoned, Washington should remove restrictions on exchanges with Taiwan imposed by former President Barack Obama so that Taiwanese officials can proudly display their national flag on American territory.

In recent years, Cruz has initiated many Taiwan-friendly bills in Congress, including the Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty Act, hoping that Taiwanese diplomatic and military personnel on official business can display the national flag and wear their uniforms in the U.S. The bill is currently pending deliberation by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

At a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing in mid-September, Cruz asked the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David Stilwell, to remove restrictions on U.S. relations with Taiwan, CNA reported.