Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has voiced support for democratic movements in Hong Kong on a number of occasions since taking office. Photo: Reuters

So long, CCNAA, we hardly knew ye. Established in 1979, after US president Jimmy Carter’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the inaptly named Coordination Council for North American Affairs was created by the Taiwanese government to handle ties with the US and was named as such to not offend Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the long-self-ruled island.

In its stead, and to mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which replaced the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty of 1955, Taipei announced last week the renaming of the CCNAA to the Taiwan Council for US Affairs (TCUSA).

While seemingly an innocuous change and insignificant to some, including the term “Taiwan” will be viewed as provocative by an easily bruised Beijing and its touchy nationalists. In recent months, Beijing has pressured newspapers, airlines and international companies to change their “Taiwan” references to “Taipei, China.”

Yet pressure from Beijing only drives relations between the US and Taiwan closer. President Tsai Ing-wen is capitalizing on this support in the lead-up to Taiwan’s 2020 elections to “salami-slice” her way toward de jure independence. Beijing has used this same incremental yet highly effective method to attempt to control the South China Sea through the construction of islands.

In so doing, Tsai is placing a fairly safe bet that the name change is innocuous enough not to trigger an extreme response by Beijing. Among her own citizenry, the name change will hardly be noticed or will prove uncontroversial, as most consider themselves distinctly Taiwanese and view China and Taiwan as distinct nations.

A more controversial portion, however, was sliced off earlier this month when the secretary general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, David Lee, met with US national security adviser John Bolton in Washington. The meeting represented the first publicly acknowledged summit between the national security advisers of both countries since 1979. As the meeting reaffirmed Taiwan’s de facto governance over foreign affairs, Beijing predictably expressed its displeasure, urging Washington to “stop having official exchanges or upgrading substantive relations with Taiwan.”

Perhaps the next slice of the salami will be to change the anachronistic moniker of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), the de facto Taiwanese embassy in the US. The various Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (TECOs) in major US cities could also be renamed, as could Taiwan’s hodgepodge of TECOs and their variants in other countries worldwide, many of which were recently pressured to drop any references to Taiwan.

Ahead of the January 2020 elections in Taiwan, Beijing would be wise not to overreact to such a small name change and lend further support to Tsai, whose favorability ratings have improved in the face of aggression from China. A single spark may start a prairie fire, according to Chairman Mao, but these latest salami slices should not be the spark.

Join the Conversation

1063 Comments

  1. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its aided me. Great job.

  2. I think other website proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  3. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  4. What i do not realize is in fact how you are no longer really much more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You know thus significantly with regards to this matter, produced me personally believe it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated until it’s something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

  5. I do not even know how I stopped up here, but I believed this submit was once great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger for those who aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  6. Thanks , I have recently been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

  7. Really excellent info can be found on weblog. “We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.” by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  8. obviously like your web site but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come again again.

  9. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  10. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

  11. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  12. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  13. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thank you!

  14. The heart of your writing while sounding reasonable at first, did not work perfectly with me personally after some time. Someplace throughout the sentences you managed to make me a believer but only for a while. I however have a problem with your leaps in assumptions and you might do nicely to help fill in all those breaks. If you actually can accomplish that, I could undoubtedly end up being impressed.

  15. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours today, yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before.

  16. of course like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to inform the truth however I will surely come back again.

  17. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  18. Hey there! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *