US President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a sweeping US$1.5 trillion spending bill, which includes a ban on the use of any maps by the US Department of State and its foreign operations that “inaccurately” depict Taiwan as part of China.
The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022, stipulates that “none of the funds made available by this Act should be used to create, procure, or display any map that inaccurately depicts the territory and social and economic system of Taiwan and the islands or island groups administered by Taiwan authorities.”
The bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, an omnibus spending bill, is to fund federal government agencies for the remainder of fiscal 2022 to avoid an immediate government shutdown. The US Senate on Thursday approved the bill 68-31 and sent it to the White House.
Photo: Screen grab from the National Football League Communications’ Twitter account
The appropriation act was proposed in July last year by lawmakers including Republican US representatives Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot and Scott Perry, who are friendly to Taiwan.
The bill that same month passed the US House of Representatives by a 217-212 vote, but did not move beyond the Senate and was instead packaged into the omnibus spending bill following revisions.
The original bill had stipulated: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to create, procure, or display any map that depicts Taiwan, Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, Wuciou [烏坵, islands administered by Kinmen County], Green Island (綠島) or Orchid Island [Lanyu, 蘭嶼] as part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China.”
Tiffany told the House that since the 1970s, the US has adopted a “one China” policy to accommodate Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China.
However, he said “Beijing’s bogus argument that Taiwan is part of Communist China” should be abandoned, adding that the bill would “require honest maps that stop perpetuating the ‘one China’ lie.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked the Biden administration and US lawmakers for supporting Taiwan-US relations.
The ban on inaccurate maps shows that the US “recognizes Taiwan as not being a part of China and is willing to take legislative action to ensure truthful depictions of the situation across the Taiwan Strait,” it said in a statement.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said on Facebook that the ban would prevent US taxpayer money being spent on maps that show Taiwan as a part of China and instead use the funds to support “honest maps.”
“Taiwan is not a part of China. We thank US lawmakers in the US Senate and House of Representatives for their nonpartisan support of Taiwan and look forward to the growth of Taiwan-US relations,” he wrote.
The 2,741-page Consolidated Appropriations Act would also provide US$13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, as well as weapons to NATO’s eastern European members.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the aid would include US$1 billion in military assistance, such as Javelin and Stinger missiles, to cement the alliance’s military strength.
The financial assistance also aims to fend off cyberattacks from Russia, he added.
Additional reporting by Yang Cheng-yu and Chung Li-hua
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
MEDIA, SOCIETY FOCUS: Doublethink Lab said that Beijing is trying to coerce countries that rely on China economically to pursue policies in its favor China has stronger influence over Taiwan’s media and society than any other country, the Taipei-based Doublethink Lab think tank said yesterday, as it announced its China Index gauging Beijing’s global influence. Taiwan ranked 11th overall among 82 countries assessed, but first in terms of social and media influence, Doublethink Lab chairman Puma Shen (沈伯洋) told a news conference in Taipei. More than 200 experts and academics participated in the project, including some highly influential figures, Shen said. The index collects information from countries worldwide to gauge China’s influence and assess how Chinese policies affect them, Shen said. In terms of Chinese