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Rubio, Moolenaar, Colleagues Urge Washington to Establish Sister City Ties With Taiwan

May 14, 2024 | Press Releases

Since 1984, Washington, D.C. has maintained sister city ties with Beijing, despite Communist China’s well-documented human rights abuses and acts of genocide. The Chinese Communist Party has long sought to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, both diplomatically and economically.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative John Moolenaar (R-MI), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, sent a letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser urging her to establish sister city ties with Taipei, Taiwan. This gesture by Mayor Bowser would deepen our commitment to our strong ally in the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan.

  • “Sister-City relationships represent important symbolic partnerships expressing the social and cultural connection between communities. Far too often, our Taiwanese friends have been left isolated on the international stage, and a pact with the capital of the United States and a voice of the free world would show the international community that Taiwan is not alone.”

Joining Rubio and Moolenaar were Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) and U.S. Representative Andy Barr (R-KY). 

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Mayor Bowser, 

We write to urge you and your administration to establish sister-city ties between Washington, D.C., and Taipei. Congress, and the city of Washington, D.C., have long played a leading role in U.S.-Taiwan relations, and the greater Washington metropolitan area is home to one of the largest Taiwanese American populations in our country. Many Taiwanese Americans are deeply involved with the local D.C. community, including playing a major role in the city’s annual Lunar New Year Parade.

Last month marked the 45th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the U.S. law that defines the robust cultural, economic, and political relationship between the United States and Taiwan. We are proud that U.S.-Taiwan relations have never been stronger than they are today, and we are confident that this relationship will continue to strengthen in the years to come. Sister-City relationships represent important symbolic partnerships expressing the social and cultural connection between communities. Far too often, our Taiwanese friends have been left isolated on the international stage, and a pact with the capital of the United States and a voice of the free world would show the international community that Taiwan is not alone.

Though it might seem a small and largely symbolic step, establishing sister-city ties would go a long way in demonstrating that the people of the United States, and Washington, D.C. in particular, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those in Taiwan. It will send a clear message that we will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to dictate who we call our friends. We understand that there may be those in the international community who would object to this measure, however, the United States should never allow the threat of verbal retaliation and rebuke to dictate our actions. Allowing fear of others’ reactions to determine our policy would only reaffirm said parties’ belief that intimidation is an effective tool of statecraft.

For the reasons outlined above, we request that you establish a sister city relationship with Taipei. Your action would speak volumes to the cultural and people-to-people ties of the United States and Taiwan and be a strong point of symbolism in line with the 45th anniversary of the TRA. 

Sincerely,