In a letter dated Oct. 13, 1994, then-representative to the US Benjamin Lu (魯肇忠) wrote to then-American Institute in Taiwan chairman Nat Bellocchi: “I take great pleasure in informing you that my government has formally approved that the name of our Washington office will be Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.”
Two months later, on Dec. 20, Bellocchi responded, acknowledging receipt of the letter “informing me of the change in name of your office from the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA) to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO).”
In a letter dated Oct. 3, 1990, then-US Department of State executive secretary J. Stapleton Roy had written to then-US national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, then-CIA acting executive secretary James Pittman and then-US Department of Defense executive secretary Colonel John Dubia, saying: “Consistent with the unofficial nature of US-Taiwan ties, the US Government [USG] no longer refers to Taiwan as the ‘Republic of China’ — a term reflecting Taipei’s continuing claim to be the government of China... We refer to Taiwan simply as Taiwan.”
Roy’s verbiage is repeated every year in a memo that the U.S. Secretary of State sends to all its embassies and consular offices around the world prior to Taiwan’s National “Double Ten” Day, where the Secretary of State writes: “The Department reminds posts that, consistent with the unofficial nature of US -Taiwan ties, the U.S. Government does not refer to Taiwan as the "Republic of China," the "Republic of China on Taiwan," or a country. The USG refers to Taiwan simply as "Taiwan."
We therefore have an “American Institute in TAIWAN” and a “TAIWAN Relations Act.”
So why is TECRO called the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” and not the “Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office?”
I understand that in 1994, when Washington asked Taipei for a short list of new names to replace the oddly nondescriptive CCNAA (mis)nomer, Taipei did not submit a possible new name for its representative office with the word “Taiwan” in it — despite Roy stating in 1990 that “we refer to Taiwan simply as Taiwan” in US guidelines.
The TECRO name is nondescriptive, as it has the word “Taipei” in it, which creates the impression that the office only represents the capital and its residents.
It would be the equivalent of referring to the American Institute in Taiwan as the Washington Institute in Taiwan.
It is time that the US started adhering to reality by changing TECRO to a name that is consistent with US policy: the Taiwan Representative Office. It would set an inspiring precedent for other countries to emulate.
Mike Kuo is president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.
Late last month, Beijing introduced changes to school curricula in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requiring certain subjects to be taught in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. What is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeking to gain from sending this message of pernicious intent? It is possible that he is attempting cultural genocide in Inner Mongolia, but does Xi also have the same plan for the democratic, independent nation of Mongolia? The controversy emerged with the announcement by the Inner Mongolia Education Bureau on Aug. 26 that first-grade elementary-school and junior-high students would in certain subjects start learning with Chinese-language textbooks, as
There are worrying signs that China is on the brink of a major food shortage, which might trigger a strategic contest over food security and push Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), already under intense pressure, toward drastic measures, potentially spelling trouble for Taiwan and the rest of the world. China has encountered a perfect storm of disasters this year. On top of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, China’s largest agricultural region. Floodwaters are estimated to have already destroyed the crops on 6 million hectares of farmland. The situation has been
In 1955, US general Benjamin Davis Jr, then-commander of the US’ 13th Air Force, drew a maritime demarcation line in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, known as the median line. Under pressure from the US, Taiwan and China entered into a tacit agreement not to cross the line. On July 9, 1999, then-president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) described cross-strait relations as a “special state-to-state” relationship. In response, Beijing dispatched People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft into the Taiwan Strait, crossing the median line for the first time since 1955. The PLA has begun to regularly traverse the line. On Sept. 18 and 19, it
Midday in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 16, was sunny and mild. Even with the pandemic’s “social distancing” it was a perfect day for “al fresco” dining with linen tablecloths and sidewalk potted palms outside one of New York City’s elegant restaurants. Two members of the press, outfitted with digital SLR cameras and voice recorders, were dispatched by The Associated Press to cover a rare outdoor diplomatic meeting on one of these New York streets. American diplomat Kelly Craft, Chief of the United States Mission to the United Nations, lunched in the open air with Taiwan’s ambassador-ranked representative in New York, James