Sat, Feb 15, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Ministry thanks Ted Cruz for US ties plan

TAIWAN SOS:The proposal would allow Taiwanese diplomats and those in military service to fly their flag and wear their uniforms while in the US on official business

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

US Senator Ted Cruz walks through Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 4.

Photo: EPA-EFE

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US Senator Ted Cruz for proposing the Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty Act (Taiwan SOS), which it said would encourage the US government to ease “obsolete” restrictions on bilateral interaction.

Cruz, who is a member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, last year attended Double Ten National Day celebrations in Taipei, the first US senator to attend in 35 years, the ministry said.

Taiwan-US relations are “incredibly important” in diplomatic, military and economic areas, Cruz said at that time.

He told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at a meeting at the time that he supports Taiwan and the US signing a free-trade agreement.

In November last year, Cruz’s office confirmed reports that he was preparing the Taiwan SOS bill, which was submitted on Thursday.

The bill “would allow diplomats and service members in the Taiwanese military to display their flag and wear their uniforms while in the United States on official businesses,” Cruz said in a press release.

“This reverses the [former US president Barack] Obama administration policy, formalized in a 2015 confidential memo, prohibiting the display of the Taiwanese [Republic of China] flag at the request of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

The memo was issued after the Obama administration in 2015 was provoked by a New Year’s Day flag-raising ceremony at the Twin Oaks estate in Washington hosted by then-representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡).

The US said it had not approved the event.

“These guidelines have restricted US support for Taiwan, by prohibiting both the [US] Department of State and [US] Department of Defense from even posting such symbols on social media,” Cruz said.

The proposal was cosponsored by eight other Republican senators — Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Todd Young, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, John Cornyn, Ben Sasse and Marsha Blackburn, he said.

“The United States continues to self-impose counterproductive restrictions on our relations with Taiwan,” Cotton was quoted as saying in the press release, adding that the bill, as well as the US’ Taiwan Assurance Act, would deepen bilateral cooperation in economic and security affairs.

The bill encourages the US administration to ease obsolete restrictions on Taiwan-US interaction, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement, thanking the senators for their continued support of Taiwan.

Taiwan would maintain close communication with the US with a pragmatic attitude and continue to deepen bilateral partnerships based on positive foundations, she said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top