China has told the US it opposes a request from Taiwan that would change the name of Taipei’s de facto embassy in Washington.
According to a report from the Financial Times, the US is considering a request to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECO) to Taiwan Representative Office. The report said the US is “seriously considering” the name change.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a press briefing Monday that China has “lodged solemn representation” with the US over the issue. He urged the US to follow the one-China policy it agreed to in 1979 when Washington severed diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognized Beijing.
The Financial Times report said the White House’s top Asia official, Kurt Campbell, is in favor of the name change. The report said a final decision has yet to be made, and it would ultimately need the approval of President Biden.
The Biden administration has taken steps to boost diplomatic ties with Taipei, picking up on the Trump administration’s policies. On top of the diplomatic moves, US military activity in the region and arms sales to Taiwan have continued.
In June, a US diplomat at the de facto US embassy in Taiwan summed up how Washington’s view of Taiwan has changed. Instead of focusing on relations between Taiwan and China, the US now sees the island as an opportunity to counter Beijing.
“The United States no longer sees Taiwan as a ‘problem’ in our relations with China, we see it as an opportunity to advance our shared vision,” said Raymond Greene, the deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan.