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US House passes bill barring maps depicting Taiwan as part of China

Bill prohibits State Department from spending funds on maps that portray Taiwan as Chinese territory

Map of China from State Department website.

Map of China from State Department website.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday (March 9) passed a spending bill that includes an amendment prohibiting the U.S. State Department from purchasing any map depicting Taiwan as part of China.

On Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives passed a US$1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government open and deliver US$13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, with the defense section of the legislation passing 361-69 and the domestic spending segment passing 260-171.

Included in the bill is an amendment proposed by Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), Kat Cammack (R-FL), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) that bars the State Department from spending funds on maps that portray Taiwan as Chinese territory.

In a section titled "Maps," the legislation states that "None of the funds made available by this Act should be used to create, procure, or display any map that inaccurately depicts the territory and social and economic system of Taiwan and the islands or island groups administered by Taiwan authorities." In his floor statement issued when the bill was first introduced in July 2021, Tiffany described the amendment as a "common-sense measure" given that "we all know that Taiwan has never been part of communist China."

Tiffany pointed out that the people of Taiwan "elect their own leaders, raise their own armed forces, conduct their own foreign policy, and maintain their own international trade agreements." He stressed that Taiwan is a sovereign, democratic, and independent country "by every measure" and that claims to the contrary are "simply false."

The congressman chastised the "one China" policy followed by the U.S. since the 1970s as "Beijing’s bogus argument that Taiwan is part of communist China." Tiffany described the policy as "dishonest" and called for it to be abandoned.

He acknowledged that although it is not possible to end the "one China" policy with the appropriations bill, Congress can "at least require honest maps that stop perpetuating the "'one China' lie."

Concluding his remarks, he declared: "Communist China is communist China, Mr. Speaker. And Taiwan is Taiwan."

The bill also included US$32,583,000 in funding for the U.S. de facto embassy in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan. The omnibus package will be taken up by the Senate and a representative from Tiffany's office told Taiwan News that the Senate may approve the bill "before the end of this week."