Washington, Feb. 13 (CNA) United States Senator Ted Cruz introduced Thursday a bill that would allow Taiwanese diplomats and military people to display Taiwan's flag and wear their uniform while in the U.S. on official business.
The new bill, titled the Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty (Taiwan SOS) Act, was submitted to ease the U.S.'s ban against displaying "symbols of Taiwan's sovereignty," according to a statement on the senator's website.
"This reverses the Obama administration policy, formalized in a 2015 confidential memo, prohibiting the display of the Taiwanese flag at the request of the Chinese Communist Party," Cruz said in the statement.
He argued that these guidelines have restricted U.S. support for Taiwan by prohibiting both the Department of State and Department of Defense from posting such symbols on social media.
"As China grows more hostile toward Taiwan and our friends in the region, it's critically important for the United States and the rest of the world to stand unshakably with Taiwan. Allowing Taiwanese officials to proudly display their flag while in the United States is a step in the right direction," he said in the statement.
Sources told CNA that the 2015 memo, called "Guidelines on the Relationship with Taiwan," came about after Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. held a flag-raising ceremony at Taiwan's Twin Oaks Estate, the former residence of Republic of China (Taiwan) ambassadors to the U.S., in Washington D.C. on Jan. 1, 2015.
It was the first time a national flag-raising ceremony was held at Twin Oaks, in the 36 years since the U.S. switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, and it drew complaints from the U.S. government, the sources said.
For the new bill, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are original cosponsors.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed gratitude to the American lawmakers try to encourage administrative agencies to end out-of-date restrictions on Taiwan-U.S. interactions.