US Representative Tom Tiffany has proposed legislation that would require the US Department of State to remove restrictions on the Taiwan-US relationship.
The move came days after 27 members of the US House of Representatives urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to re-evaluate the criteria surrounding the nations’ relationship and reconsider “unnecessary restrictions.”
The bill proposes that Taiwan-US relations not be constrained by the US National Defense Authorization Act.
A committee in the House is expected to deliberate on the proposal this week.
A set of guidelines on the US relationship with Taiwan introduced during the administration of former US president Barack Obama stipulated that Taiwanese representatives to the US were prohibited from entering the premises of the US Department of State in Washington, and US officials from the department were prohibited from entering Taiwan’s representative offices in the US.
The guidelines also prohibited the flying of the Republic of China (ROC) flag at Taiwan’s Twin Oaks estate in Washington, and prohibited US officials from displaying the flag.
The flag, or any symbol representative of the ROC, could also not be shown on any Web site associated with the State Department or the US Department of Defense.
Since the guidelines were introduced, a number of US lawmakers have pushed to remove the restrictions on numerous occasions, with US Senator Ted Cruz in February proposing a “Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty” act, and Tiffany proposing the removal of budget-related constraints, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs said.
The US has been trending toward a slow loosening of restrictions in that relationship, demonstrated by the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs giving a warm sendoff to Taiwan’s representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) on Twitter on July 9, the association said.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US then posted on its Twitter account a photograph of Kao meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell in the State Department building.
Taiwan also participated in an 18-nation teleconference with the US Pacific Air Forces in late April. The ROC flag was shown alongside the other nations’ flags during the conference.
The US Asia-Pacific Media Hub of the State Department reported on the teleconference in June and displayed the ROC and US flags next to each other in a tweet related to the report.
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