We believe that the current title of Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington DC does not reflect the sovereignty of Taiwan. The U.S. could learn from the experience of Japan, which renamed its “embassy” in Taiwan from “Interchange Association” into “Japan-Taiwan Interchange Association in 2017.”
The AIT Director, the U.S. de facto Ambassador to Taiwan, is appointed by the Secretary of State without checks and balances by Congress. Taiwanese Americans would like to see the AIT Director confirmed by the Senate, which has the right to oversee US-Taiwan relations through such a confirmation process.
Taiwan was the 11th largest U.S. trading partner with over $10 billion U.S. services exports in 2018, yielding a surplus for the U.S. of over $1.6 million. Taiwan is also the 8th largest agricultural export destination for the United States in 2018. U.S. trade deficit to Taiwan also decreased 7.3% from 2017. As a result, Taiwan is an important source of job creation for the United States.
An increasing number of countries and international organizations are abiding by the PRC’s One China Principle instead of the U.S. One China Policy. This partly results from the U.S. One China Policy’s passive language vis-à-vis Taiwan’s sovereignty status.
Disease does not stop at the border, as the 2020 COVID pandemic has demonstrated. It is therefore unconscionable that China plays politics with the lives of the people of Taiwan, of the people of China and of people around the world by blocking U.S. efforts to include Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO) – particularly in light of Taiwan’s extraordinary performance during this pandemic. Taiwan is unable to contribute its expertise to the WHO either. How can responsible nations of the world conclude that the 23 million people of Taiwan should be denied information and experience that could benefit their and the rest of the world’s health and well-being?