WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty (Taiwan SOS) Act, which would allow diplomats and service members in the Taiwanese military to display their flag and wear their uniforms while in the United States on official businesses.
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. These guidelines have restricted U.S. support for Taiwan, by prohibiting both the Department of State and Department of Defense from even posting such symbols on social media. Sens. 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.
“America should not do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party in forcing service members and diplomats of free, democratic governments to hide their flag or discard their uniforms,” Sen. Cruz said. “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.”
“The United States continues to self-impose counterproductive restrictions on our relations with Taiwan,” Sen. Cotton said. “The Taiwan SOS Act and the Taiwan Assurance Act would both deepen economic and security cooperation with our democratic Taiwanese partners.”
“At every turn, China is attempting to coerce countries around the globe to accept their worldview and sadly, this even applies to the U.S government. It is time to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party and recognize our friends and allies regardless of how China may respond. This begins with Taiwan,” Sen. Young said. “Taiwan and members of the Taiwanese military and government should be treated the same as every other sovereign nation.”
“I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues in introducing this bill that will allow Taiwanese visiting dignitaries and military personnel to wear their national emblems or military uniform while in the U.S.,” Sen. Rubio said. “This bill further strengthens U.S.-Taiwan relations at a time when Beijing is increasing its efforts to internationally isolate Taiwan.”
“As Communist China continues to try to crack down on Taiwan’s freedoms, it’s more important than ever that the United States stand strong with our ally,” Sen. Scott said. “Taiwan is an incredible reminder of the power of democracy around the world, and I’m proud to co-sponsor this important bill to support our friends in Taiwan.”
“Chairman Xi and the rest of the Beijing commies have redoubled their efforts to isolate Taiwan. Americans will defend our ally,” Sen. Sasse said. “This bill is a small, but meaningful, sign of solidarity by allowing the Taiwanese flag to fly on American soil and appear on State Department and U.S. military social media.”
“Accountability starts at home,” Sen. Blackburn said. “The U.S. should allow Taiwanese to express their patriotism with the symbols they see fit, and private companies should have the flexibility to resist Chinese pressure. If the United States is to fully support the people of Taiwan, we ought to recognize the Taiwanese people’s desire to express the patriotism they have, just as we may express ours.”
In October, Sen. Cruz visited Taiwan during his Indo-Pacific ‘Friends & Allies Tour’. There, Sen. Cruz:
- Met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
- Participated in a press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu.
- Attended Taiwan’s National Day ceremony – the first United States Senator to attend in 35 years.
Additionally, Sen. Cruz has sought to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Specifically, Sen. Cruz:
- Secured and supported a variety of provisions in the FY2020, FY2019, and FY2018 NDAAs, which reaffirm and advance the United States’ support for Taiwan.
- Has repeatedly warned allies to resist China’s attempts to isolate Taiwan, including Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Dominican Republic, and Panama.
- Called for the United States to transfer F-16s and conduct regular arms sales to Taiwan.
- Met with Taiwan President Tsai in Houston, despite the protest of the Chinese consulate.