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Public Statements

Sense of Congress Regarding High Level Visits by Officials of Taiwan

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING HIGH LEVEL VISITS BY OFFICIALS OF TAIWAN -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2007)

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the sponsor of this resolution, Mr. Chabot, is unfortunately delayed due to airport difficulties, but his statement will be included for the Record.

Confucius once declared that ``greeting an old friend from afar is one of life's greatest pleasures.'' Well, the purpose of this resolution is to carry out this wise saying of Confucius, for the leaders and people of Taiwan have been among the most steadfast friends of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. From the dark days of the Korean War and the Taiwan Strait crisis of the late 1950s, the people of Taiwan and the people of the United States have stood together against the threat of communist tyranny.

A half century of friendship has developed, with deepening commercial ties, and in more recent years, a shared love of democratic values. It is only natural, as Confucius noted, to warmly welcome the leaders of such close friends to Washington.

But the restrictions placed on travel to our country by democratically elected officials in Taiwan, adopted by a series of U.S. administrations, is a self-inflicted wound. The often-quoted Shanghai communique issued in 1972 contains no such restriction. Nor is there any limitation spelled out in the Taiwan Relations Act. In this regard, the intentions of Congress in the Taiwan Relations Act are clear: ``To promote the foreign policy of the United States by authorizing the continuation of commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.'' How can such relations be promoted without direct communications between officials of the United States and Taiwan?

No one likes being told whom they can or cannot invite to their own home. Americans consider their home to be ``their castle,'' with a sacred right to decide their own affairs within. No outsider should dictate rules and regulations within the American home.

So let's put out the welcome mat for our friends, the democratically elected officials from Taiwan, by giving overwhelming support to this long overdue resolution. I thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) for authoring it.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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