US lawmakers introduce 'Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act' to bolster ties amid conflict with China

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Representative Image

Washington [US], May 30 (ANI): US lawmakers have introduced a 'Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act' to rename Taiwan's representative office in the United States and provide diplomatic visas to Taiwanese diplomats to bolster ties between Washington and Taipei, amid the latter's conflict with Beijing.

In a statement on Friday, Democratic Representative Brad Sherman and Republican Representative Steve Chabot from the US House of Representatives said that they had jointly proposed the act, reported Focus Taiwan.

Sherman and Chabot said that the US policy refers Taiwan as 'Taiwan' and not 'Taipei' or 'Chinese Taipei', the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA) was renamed "Taiwan Council for US Affairs" (TCUSA) in 2019.

"Following this longstanding policy, the Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act directs the Secretary of State to enter into negotiations with the Taiwan Council for US Affairs to rename the Council's office in Washington, DC, the Taiwan Representative Office in the United States," the congressmen said in the statement.

At present, Taiwan's representative office in the US is called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO).

"This bill simply says that it is time for the State Department, and Congress, to take action to elevate our relationship with Taiwan. We should also be taking action to encourage more robust engagement between the US and Taiwanese officials," said Sherman.

The Representatives also said that the Act includes the Taiwan Envoy Act, which was introduced by the two congressmen in the last US Congress to require Senate confirmation of any individual appointed to serve as the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Focus Taiwan reported.

"By changing TECRO's name to the Taiwan Representative Office and making the Director of the AIT Senate confirmable, we will reaffirm the US commitment to robust relations with Taiwan," they further said.

They also highlighted that currently, Taiwanese officials and diplomats do not receive diplomatic visas from the US, which does not accurately represent their purpose in the US, as official representatives from Taiwan.

In such a case, the proposed Act will create a new visa category that applies to Taiwanese officials only, further bolstering ties between the two countries.

"As a founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, I have consistently worked to strengthen our bilateral relationship with Taiwan," said Chabot in the statement.

The Republican Representative said he believed that the Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act will "ensure that Taiwan's representatives here are accorded the dignity they deserve and to strengthen congressional oversight over Taiwan policy", reported Focus Taiwan.

This comes amid Taiwan's ongoing conflict with China, claims Taiwan as its own territory and regards the US Navy's presence in the area as a show of support for the island's democratic government.

China has repeatedly accused the US of threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades. (ANI)