TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The U.S. State Department on Tuesday (July 11) removed the word “country” from a travel advisory for Taiwan.
The travel advisory previously directed users to Taiwan’s “country information page,” but the site now lists a “Taiwan International Travel Information” page. A spokesman for the American Institute in Taiwan (the de facto U.S. embassy) did not respond to a question about whether it was aware of the change, but it told Taiwan News that there has been no change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan.
The State Department regularly updates its website and fact sheets, which reflect “longstanding, strong bipartisan support for Taiwan in the United States consistent with our one-China policy,” the spokesman said.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry told Taiwan News that they would not comment on the change, but emphasized Taiwan’s position as an independent democratic country. “The Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China are not affiliated to each other, and the future of Taiwan, the Republic of China, must follow the will of all Taiwanese people,” the statement said, echoing language often used in comments. on the issue of national sovereignty.
Travel advice before and after the change. (Taiwan News, U.S. State Department photo)
The consistent position of the US government is that it does not support Taiwan’s independence.
Since 1972, the United States has “recognized” Beijing’s claim that there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of it. In 1979, the United States passed the “Taiwan Relations Act.” In addition to legally requiring the United States to provide arms to Taiwan, it also raised the expectation that “Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means.”
U.S.-Taiwan relations are also bound by the “Six Guarantees,” announced in 1982 and formally adopted by the U.S. government in 2016. They set out the U.S. position on the Taiwan issue, including assurances that the U.S. will not agree to stop arms sales to Taiwan or amend the Taiwan Relations Act.
Other State Department pages on U.S.-Taiwan relations do not consider Taiwan a country, at least not since 2019, despite the 2022 investigation into Taiwan’s human rights record being called a “country report.” With the exception of the State Department website, other U.S. government websites generally do not refer to Taiwan as a country, except for the CIA, which refers to Taiwan as a country in its World Factbook profile.