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INTERVIEW/U.S. Rep Tiffany pushes resolution to resume normal ties with Taiwan

01/28/2023 06:49 PM
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U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany. CNA photo Jan. 28, 2023
U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany. CNA photo Jan. 28, 2023

Washington, Jan. 27 (CNA) U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany who has introduced a resolution calling for the United States to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and end its "one China" policy, has vowed to push forward the measure, despite the many obstacles it faces.

Tiffany led 18 other members of Congress in reintroducing the resolution on Jan. 15, which urges the U.S. administration to formally recognize Taiwan's status as an independent nation, end its outdated "one China" policy, support Taiwan's membership in international organizations, and negotiate a bilateral U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement.

In a recent interview with CNA, Tiffany said that although there is still a long way to go to have the resolution passed, he remains optimistic.

Republican Tiffany won the special election for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District seat in May 2020.

Over the past two years, Tiffany has addressed sensitive issues that ordinary lawmakers keep at arm's length, from calling for the resumption of diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei to ending the U.S.' "one-China" policy and granting equal rights and treatment to Taiwan as a member of the United Nations.

Tiffany first introduced legislation calling for the U.S. to resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in September 2020, but it only received the endorsement of then Republican Rep. Ted Yoho.

However, Tiffany did not give up and introduced it again in February 2021, receiving support from 30 Republican Representatives.

In the CNA interview, Tiffany said he believes there is greater awareness in Congress regarding Taiwan's sovereignty, adding that he thinks some Democrats will sign onto the resolution.

The result can be attributed in part to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August last year, he added.

Asked why he is so concerned about the Taiwan sovereignty issue, Tiffany said that when he was in the Wisconsin state legislature, he had the opportunity to go to Taiwan four years ago.

During his visit, it became very clear to him that China and Taiwan are two distinct countries, he said.

"And as I did more research and saw that Taiwan was never part of China. And so why would Mainland China want to say that this is ours, when it's never been theirs? And so that sparked my interest to begin with a few years ago," he added.

Due to his experience in Taiwan, Tiffany said that since getting elected to Congress he has attached great importance to Taiwan issues.

In 2021, Tiffany introduced an amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act that prohibits any funds to create, procure or display any map that depicts Taiwan as part of China. The bill became law in March 2022.

Tiffany emphasized that he will continue to pressure the Biden administration to recognize Taiwan.

"It is time to end the 1979 agreement of one China, Taiwan is not part of China. It has its own identity, it is own country, I will continue to do so and that'll be the basis of any legislation that I put forward," he said.

Tiffany also expressed his support for new U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy's planned visit to Taiwan later this year, saying that both the speaker and representatives are free to visit Taiwan.

He suggested that the U.S. government should invite Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to visit Washington D.C. and deliver an address to the U.S. Congress.

(By Stacy Hsu and Evelyn Kao)


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