US House approves bill prohibiting map showing Taiwan as Chinese territory

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill that calls for the ban of the use of public funds to buy, make or display any map showing Taiwan as part of Chinese territory.

The House resolution 4373, introduced by Republican lawmakers Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher, was adopted on Capitol Hill by a vote of 217 to 212.

The motion “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 quoted the text of the bill.

Speaking on the House floor on Wednesday, the amendment’s main sponsor, Tiffany, said: “This is a common-sense measure. 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,” said the Wisconsin representative.

According to Newsweek, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou thanked the lawmakers for their “continued show of support through concrete actions.”

Taiwan will follow the bill’s progress, maintain its close ties with the U.S. executive and legislative branches and continue to deepen positive U.S.-Taiwan relations, Ou said.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of the Chinese Civil War more than 70 years ago. While the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan, Beijing considers the island to be an “inseparable part” of its territory and has repeatedly threatened to use force if necessary to prevent the island from formally declaring independence.

In recent years, China has stepped up its military pressure on Taiwan. In June, the country sent over two dozen warplanes near the island, prompting Taiwan to alert its air defences.

On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island.

Reacting to Xi’s remarks, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) accused the CCP of tightening its dictatorship in the name of national rejuvenation internally and attempting to alter the international order with its hegemonic ambitions externally, Focus Taiwan reported

“We urge the other side of the strait to learn from history and push for democratic reforms,” the MAC said, calling on the CCP to stop expansionist behaviour and to act as a responsible party in promoting regional peace.

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