- Congress has introduced bipartisan bills to rename the embassy currently known in Washington as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office as Taiwan.
- The pair of bills will direct the State Secretary to negotiate with TECRO to rename itself “Taiwan Representative Office.”
- The legislation is expected to create further tensions with China, which has ramped up its military presence in the Taiwan Strait in recent months.
Bipartisan sponsored bills seeking to rename Taipei’s de facto embassy in Washington, D.C. were introduced in the Senate and House on Thursday.
Under the proposed legislation, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) will become known as the “Taiwan Representative Office,” reported Reuters.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sponsored the Senate bill, while Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) sponsored the House version.
Menendez, who also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters that the bills were in line with the Taiwan Relations Act, which recognizes Washington’s support for the self-governed island.
Rubio, who previously introduced a bill that sanctions Chinese officials for blocking COVID-19 investigations, said, “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,” according to Reuters.
The bills would specifically direct the Secretary of State to “seek to enter into negotiations” with TECRO to rename itself.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed the pair of bills with gratitude on Friday, according to Focus Taiwan. MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou said the ministry will follow up on developments of the bills and will continue to work with the U.S. to strengthen bilateral relations.
The move is expected to increase tensions with China, which in recent months has increased its military incursions in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
Featured Image via Voice of America