Time to bury AIT Washington: William Stanton

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/05/28
By: William Stanton, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s government announced on May 25 it was changing the name of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA), the organization it originally established in 1979 to oversee Taiwan’s relationship with the United States, to the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs (TCUSA).

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) welcomed the positive development, reached by consensus between the two governments, as the latest example of progress in Taiwan’s relations with the United States. Remarkably, the original name by design gave no indication that CCNAA had anything to do specifically with Taiwan or the U.S.

As welcome as the name change therefore is, it also serves as a reminder that the U.S. government now also needs to address problems associated with TCUSA’s counterpart organization in Rosslyn, Virginia: AIT Washington. In our enthusiasm for any progress at all in U.S. relations with Taiwan, we may forget to ask whether TCUSA and AIT Washington really need to exist, if at all, as anything more than transparent fig leaves.

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