Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Curtis (R-UT), Congressman Pappas (D-NH), Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Taiwan Representative Office Act to rename Taiwan’s diplomatic outpost currently named the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to the Taiwan Representative Office.

“It is long overdue to correctly recognize the de facto embassy of our longtime friend and ally, Taiwan, as the Taiwan Representative Office,” said Curtis. “We shouldn’t tolerate pressure from China to undermine the sovereignty of the Taiwanese people, which China is also attempting to do by pressuring Lithuania and other countries. America should stand by our democratic allies, and always stand with our friends around the world facing pressure and coercion from authoritarian regimes.”

“As China continues to bully and intimidate Taiwan, this bipartisan legislation to properly recognize their de facto embassy demonstrates our continued support for the sovereignty of our democratic ally Taiwan,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “We must take this step to strengthen our diplomatic partnership with Taiwan and counter China’s repeated attempts to threaten and coerce nations around the globe.”

“Taiwan is an indispensable partner of the United States and an exemplary beacon of democracy in the Indo-Pacific region,” Rubio said. “I can think of no better way to recognize Taiwan’s contributions to global stability than by renaming their office in Washington, D.C., the seat of American democracy, to better reflect its actual purpose. The U.S. must make clear that, despite all efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to intimidate and coerce Taiwan, hostile powers have no right to claim sovereignty over democratic countries.”

“At a time of unprecedented international tension and as Beijing continues to seek to bully and coerce Taiwan, this important bill demonstrates the United States’ critical support for the people of Taiwan, and for Taiwan’s right, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, to determine its own future and to be able to enjoy greater respect and diplomatic space as a member of the international community,” Chairman Menendez said.

Background:

  • The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office represents Taiwan in the United States in the absence of formal diplomatic relations and a formal embassy, functioning as a de facto embassy.
  • In November, Lithuania, a NATO ally, allowed Taiwan to open an unofficial embassy which included the name “Taiwan”, rather than China’s preferred name “Chinese Taipei.” Beijing has retaliated against this decision by Lithuania in response.
  • Viewing the move as a violation of the “One China” policy, Beijing has recalled its ambassador to Lithuania, downgraded diplomatic relations with Vilnius, and barred all imports of Lithuanian goods.
  • Reports have now emerged that Beijing is pressuring European companies to stop using Lithuanian products in their supply chain.
  • In a measure of economic support, Taiwan set up a $1B credit program to fund projects by Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies and created a $200M investment fund to help Lithuania.
  • In September news broke that the Biden Administration was going to rename TECRO to TRO but now 7 months later this step has not been taken yet.

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