A letter signed by 78 members of the US House of Representatives was handed to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo yesterday, calling for changing the name “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” (TECRO) to “Taiwan Representative Office” (TRO).
The move was led by Taiwan Caucus co-chairs Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), calling upon the secretary to change the name of the unofficial Taiwan embassy in Washington DC.
“The use of the word ‘Taipei’ fails to accurately reflect the strong ties the United States has … with the people of Taiwan,” the letter stated.
For the past 40 years, the U.S. State Department has not referred to Taiwan as “Taipei” or “Chinese Taipei”. The exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan are not limited to officials in the capital of Taiwan, but also with other local governments and people. Therefore, the term “Taipei” cannot truly reflect the connotation of bilateral relations.
The lawmakers also called on Secretary Pompeo to issue an updated version of the “Guidelines for Exchanges with Taiwan.”
These guidelines have [self] imposed restrictions on US-Taiwan bilateral relations. The purpose of these restrictions is mainly to control tensions with China, not to promote the interests of the United States in the relationship between the United States and Taiwan.
The letter finally calls on the Secretary of State to support the US-Taiwan negotiations to sign a free trade agreement (FTA), pointing out that Taiwan’s government recently loosened restrictions on US beef and pork, and that the US should promptly respond to this friendly gesture.
The letter was initiated by the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA).
Cover picture: R. Clarke Cooper Assistant Secretary of State for the Political and Military Bureau of the US State Department and Taiwan representative to the US Hsiao Bi-Khim
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