TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Six U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill Friday (May 28) to further improve Taiwan ties and rename the nation's representative office in Washington as the Taiwan Representative Office in the United States — which would likely spark trouble with China.
Its name now is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), at the insistence of China, which has prevented Taiwan from being recognized by the United Nations. It has also attempted to systematically deny the country diplomatic recognition by referring to Taiwan as Taipei, or Chinese Taipei in international organizations.
In addition, the Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act calls for Taiwan’s diplomats to be given appropriate visas, rather than an investor visa. The bill’s backers say this “does not accurately represent their purpose in the U.S., as official representatives from Taiwan.”
According to the press release announcing the move, the Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act also creates a new visa category that applies only to Taiwanese officials. "This new visa category is not only beneficial for Taiwanese representatives in the United States, but also encourages closer government ties between U.S. and Taiwan officials.”
Co-introduced by Congressmen Brad Sherman and supported by four others, the politician said it was time to “elevate our relationship with Taiwan. We should also be taking action to encourage more robust engagement between U.S. and Taiwanese officials.”
Supporter and fellow Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart added, “Taiwan has been an exemplary actor on the world stage, and has acted responsibly and generously in helping nations, including the U.S., in combating the pandemic."
“I support any efforts to expand Taiwan’s diplomatic capabilities, increase its inclusion in international organizations, and strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. This bill is a positive step toward achieving those goals.”