Today, Congressman Curtis (R-UT), Congressman Pappas (D-NH), and Senator Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced 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 name the de facto embassy of our longtime friend and ally, Taiwan, as the Taiwan Representative Office,” said Rep. 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 our other allies. America should stand by our democratic allies, and always stand with our friends around the world facing pressure and coercion from authoritarian regimes.”
“As Taiwan faces increasing threats to its security and sovereignty, we must continue to strengthen our diplomatic partnership with our democratic ally,” said Rep. Pappas. “This bipartisan legislation will properly recognize Taiwan’s de facto embassy to demonstrate our continued support. We must continue to stand with our democratic allies against authoritarian regimes and counter China’s attempts to intimidate and bully Taiwan and other countries.”
“Taiwan is an indispensable partner and an exemplary beacon of democracy in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Sen. Rubio. “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. At a time when the Chinese Communist Party actively intimidates and coerces Taiwan, the U.S. must make it clear that hostile powers have no right to claim sovereignty over democratic nations.”
- 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 2022, 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.