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Taiwan steadily gets more legitimacy as a separate country with US Bill

Taiwan flag (Photo: Twitter)

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that bans the use of public funds that may depict Taiwan as a part of China. This decision by the US legislature follows a similar decision by Japan a fortnight back in which it showed Taiwan as a separate territory.

With Indo-Pacific tensions on the rise, Taiwan is getting wider acceptance as an independent unit.

Taiwan News reports that on Wednesday evening, the US House of Representatives "passed an appropriations bill that includes an amendment that would prohibit the US State Department from purchasing any map depicting Taiwan as part of China".

The House resolution 4373, introduced by Republican lawmakers – Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher, "prohibits the expenditure of funds to create, procure or display any map that depicts Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China", Newsweek magazine quoted the text of the bill.

Tom Tiffany, who is the main sponsor of the bills, said: "… As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of Communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their own leaders, raise their own armed forces, conduct their own foreign policy and maintain their own international trade agreements. By every measure, Taiwan is a sovereign, democratic and independent country. Any claims to the contrary are simply false".

Taiwan is being accorded a separate identity by different nations. Japan's white paper on defence 2021, which is published annually, also showed Taiwan as a separate country for the first time. The white paper in its earlier editions had always shown Taiwan and China together, alluding to Taiwan as a territory of China. Taiwan was also shown along with China in the same chapter and map in previous versions.

In a separate news item, Taiwan News reported that Russia's State-owned news agency RIA Novosti has begun to display Taiwan's national flag at the Olympics for the first time. It adds that a number of international media organisations have begun to use the name Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei.

Using the name Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei hits at Beijing's One China Policy (OCP)–which is at the heart of the Chinese ambition to acquire and expand territory. The result has been a hostile China transgressing Indian borders in Ladakh, usurping Bhutanese and Nepalese villages by stealth, harassing Taiwan through violation of its air space and maritime boundaries as well as violating the territorial integrity of its neighbours in the South China Sea.

Though China and Taiwan converged and took separate paths, Beijing has always threatened to take over Taiwan by force. A China-based magazine recently also divulged how the communist nation will launch a three-stage attack on Taiwan before its amphibious forces take over Taiwanese territory–heightening fears that China under an ambitious President for Life Xi Jinping just might invade the country. 

All such theatrics from China have created scare in the Indo-Pacific region. A survey by a prominent Australian think tank noted that people in Taiwan and Australia fear an attack from China

In June, soon after the G7 meet concluded in the UK with a call to Beijing to resolve its differences peacefully with Taiwan, China had sent one of its largest numbers of warplanes near the island–once again stressing that it is looking at a military solution and not talks. Adding to regional tensions, Xi had rather belligerently vowed to unify Taiwan with China at the centenary speech of the Communist Party.

China has reacted strongly to American efforts to support Taiwan. It also chasticised the US for landing a military plane in Taiwan in mid-July. Beijing also said that the US should stop sending the wrong signals about Taiwan's independence.