U.S. lawmakers push for ‘Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act’

An American flag flies at half-staff in remembrance of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick above the Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Two U.S. lawmakers on Friday introduced the “Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act” aimed at bolstering ties between Washington and Taipei.

In a statement released that day, U.S. House Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) jointly proposed to rename Taiwan’s representative office in the United States and give Taiwanese officials diplomatic visas.

They quoted the decision of renaming the Coordination Council for North American Affairs into the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs in 2019 to support their argument of renaming the Taiwan’s representative office as Taiwan Representative Office in the United States.

“It is the policy of the United States to refer to Taiwan as ‘Taiwan’, not ‘Taipei’ or ‘Chinese Taipei,’” the lawmakers wrote, stressing that “Taiwanese officials and diplomats do not receive diplomatic visas; instead, they are provided investor visas, which do not accurately represent their purpose in the United States as official representatives of Taiwan.”

As the Taiwan Strait remains one of the major flashpoints in the world, they argue that the U.S. Congress should also play a role in overseeing U.S.-Taiwan relations through the Senate confirmation process.

To this end, the Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act would create a new visa category that applies only to Taiwanese officials. This new visa category would not only be “beneficial for Taiwanese representatives in the U.S., but also encourages closer government ties between U.S. and Taiwan officials,” they continued.

Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Ken Buck (R-CO) have also joined Sherman and Chabot for the introduction of the act.