TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new comprehensive bill that passed in a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Thursday (July 15) includes an act that calls for the word "Taiwan" to be included in the name of Taiwan's de facto embassy in the U.S.
The House's Foreign Affairs Committee voted 26 to 22 in favor of approving a bill proposed by committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) called the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act. The 400-page bill is designed to respond to challenges by China in the political, diplomatic, military, and technological realms and incorporates the following four Taiwan-friendly acts:
- The Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act
- The Taiwan Peace and Stability Act
- The Taiwan International Solidarity Act
- The Taiwan Fellowship Act
The Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act requires the secretary of state to consult with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the U.S. about changing its name to the Taiwan Representative Office. When introducing the act in May, Brad Sherman (D-CA) said that “Taiwan is an important democratic ally of the United States. Yet, it would be surprising for most Americans to know that Taiwan’s office in Washington still includes ‘Taipei’ in its name."
He then added, “This bill simply says that it is time for the State Department and Congress to take action to elevate our relationship with Taiwan. We should also be taking action to encourage more robust engagement between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. By changing TECRO’s name to the Taiwan Representative Office and making the Director of the AIT Senate confirmable, we will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to robust relations with Taiwan.”
The Taiwan Peace and Stability Act aims to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations, expand bilateral economic and trade relations, and beef up Taiwan's military deterrence. The Taiwan Fellowship strengthens exchanges between Taiwanese and American officials.
In addition, the bill seeks to fortify elements of other pro-Taiwan acts and bills, such as the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI Act) and the Taiwan International Solidarity Act of 2021.
In response, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed its gratitude to the U.S. Congress for continually proposing bills and other friendly actions that show strong support for the country. The ministry pledged to continue to follow the progress of the bill and "maintain contact close contact with friends in the U.S. Congress and the executive branch to continue to steadily deepen the Taiwan-U.S. partnership."