2024-0321: “Renaming TECRO Long Overdue” (FAPA’s Op-Ed); Taiwan Is an “Independent and Sovereign Country”

FAPA President’s Op-Ed: “Renaming TECRO Long Overdue”

In a Taipei Times op-ed dated March 13, FAPA President Su-Mei Kao argues that the U.S. should initiate the process of renaming the Taiwan Representative office in Washington D.C. (which effectively functions as the “Taiwan Embassy”) from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) to the more accurate and respectful “Taiwan Representative Office” (TRO), and encourage other allies to follow suit. The reasons are as follows.

“First, TECRO is a misnomer because the word ‘Taipei’ creates the strong inaccurate impression that the office only represents the capital, Taipei, and its residents, rather than the independent country of Taiwan and its people.”

“Second, calling Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the US an ‘economic and cultural’ representative office fails to accurately reflect the robust and comprehensive relations between the two nations.”

“And third, the name TECRO is inconsistent with the longstanding US policy of referring to Taiwan [simply] as ‘Taiwan.’ Its renaming is thus long overdue.”

“Fourth, changing the name TECRO to the Taiwan Representative Office would not merely be a symbolic gesture, but a substantive move that would . . . strengthen US leadership among democratic allies to support Taiwan against Chinese bullying and aggression.”

“It has often been said that, regarding complex and sensitive Taiwan issues, symbolism is substance.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “It is time for the US to start negotiating a name change for TECRO to better reflect the mission’s actual purpose. If there was a Taiwan Representative Office in Washington, it would be a powerful display of US support for its longtime friend and democratic ally.”

“[The] name change would bolster the US’ commitment to Taiwan and inspire other democratic allies to do the same. Hopefully then, ‘Taiwan’ representative offices would become a new normal the world over.”

Just last year, on May 10, 2023, the “Taiwan Representative Office Act” (H.R.3171 & S.1513) was introduced in the House by Reps. John Curtis (R-UT) and Chris Pappas (D-NH) and in the Senate by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) simultaneously, calling to rename TECRO to TRO.

We ask that you contact your Representative and Senators immediately, urging them to co-sponsor H.R.3171 or S.1513 by contacting Rep. Curtis’ or Sen. Rubio’s office.

Please sign the petition HERE.

[1] Taipei Times (Full Article): https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2024/03/13/2003814836

Taiwan Is an “Independent and Sovereign Country” — Montenegro Newspaper Brushes off China’s Complaints

The Montenegro newspaper Vijesti has refused a Chinese demand to take down an interview with Taiwan Representative to Hungary Liu Shih-Chung in which he said Taiwan is an “independent and sovereign country.”

The daily said it “cannot remove the report,” published on March 10, after receiving a complaint from the Chinese embassy in Montenegro.

In the exclusive interview, Liu said that Taiwan, as an “independent and sovereign country,” does not need to declare independence, and that Taiwan and China do not have jurisdiction over one another.

The Russia-Ukraine war has put Taiwanese on guard against authoritarianism, and Taiwan’s resolution to uphold its democratic way of life should not be challenged, Liu said.

Many countries benefit from peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and many countries, including the U.S., Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well as the EU have urged China not to upset the military “status quo,” he told the newspaper.

Asked about China’s moves to increase its influence in the Balkan Peninsula through its Belt and Road Initiative, Liu said that China’s attempts to create a presence in the region have caused debt crises and corruption in many countries in the region, and that the initiative has not achieved its intended effects.

In contrast, Taiwan is a benign force willing to offer assistance to countries in the region in a transparent and open manner, Liu said.

Liu cited as an example Taiwan’s efforts to help the Balkan countries through vocational training programs in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2024/03/13/2003814852