FAPA proposes renaming Taiwan's representative office in U.S.

Washington, Sept. 11 (CNA) The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Washington, D.C.-based pro-Taiwanese independence group, is calling for a change in the name of Taiwan's representative office in the United States, Coen Blaauw, executive director of FAPA, said Tuesday.FAPA decided to advocate for the name change after the Taiwan Travel Act was signed into law in March by U.S. President Donald Trump, encouraging reciprocal visits by senior government officials from the two countries, according to Blaauw.He said the hope is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), which represents Taiwan's interests in the United States in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, can be renamed the Taiwan Representative Office because the TECRO title includes only Taipei not Taiwan, making it appear the office only represents "Taipei," instead of Taiwan's 23 million people.Asked whether the proposal has made any progress, Blaauw said only it was still in the initial phase.Blaauw said that the director of the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Taipei office functions as the United States' de facto ambassador to Taiwan but the appointment of an AIT director, unlike ambassadors to other countries, does not require approval from the U.S. Senate.FAPA would like to see the appointment of AIT directors subject to Senate approval, he added.FAPA also supports the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the U.S., Blaauw said.Blaauw made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation led by Michael Tsai, head of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA), which is in the U.S. to campaign for Taiwan to join the United Nations and is looking to meet with U.S. officials from the Department of State, Department of Defense and members from the U.S. Congress.Tsai said that while in the U.S., the delegation hopes to discuss the name change and exchange views with U.S. officials and congressmen on bilateral relations between Taiwan and the United States.