FAREWELL SPEECH FOR TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR C.J. CHEN -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 08, 2004)
HON. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2004
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, we are honored to be here today to bid farewell to a great statesmen and friend, Ambassador C. J. (Chinn-Jen) Chen. The Taiwanese government has much to be proud of from the Ambassador's long career of selfless service to his country. He is a distinguished diplomat who has served Taiwan's foreign service for thirty-seven years, and in many ways served all of us, and the world. Ambassador Chen has spent much of his career
strengthening the close and friendly ties between Taiwan and the United States.
He first came to Washington, D.C. in 1971 as a Third Secretary assigned to the Republic of China Embassy in the United States where he served through 1979. By then, he had been promoted to First Secretary, and from that position, he was able to play an important role in the formulation of a new framework for improved relations between the people's of Taiwan and the United States.
During the 1980's and 1990's, as the Ambassador earned a series of promotions to posts of greater and greater responsibility-both in Taipei and in Washington-he continued to serve as an effective bridge from bringing Taiwan and the United States closer together. As Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister and then Foreign Minister, he insured that his country's foreign policy reflected that tremendous economic progress and democratic development taking place on Taiwan.
And, by emphasizing the common values and joint interests that the United States and Taiwan share, Ambassador Chen has fostered mutual trust and cooperation between successive administrations: from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush in the United States; and from Chiang Ching-kou to Chen Shui-bian in Taiwan.
Over the last four years, the Ambassador has, in his capacity as Taiwan's chief representative in the United States, endeavored to further enhance the military, political, cultural and economic aspects of our bilateral relationship. Apart from his personal friendships with a number of high-ranking administration officials, he has built quite a following in Congress. He strongly encouraged and supported the establishment of the House Taiwan Caucus and the Senate Taiwan Caucus.
Working closely with us, he has earned our respect and affection.
Most importantly, thanks to diplomats like Ambassador Chen, Taiwan and the United States are truly friends and our relationship is stronger now than at any other time. Having visited Taiwan myself, I have seen how much the Ambassador's country has been able to benefit from better relations, and I'm sure that his work has made Taiwan a better place.
Mr. Speaker, as Ambassador Chen concludes his tour of duty in Washington and his returning to Taipei, I bid him a fond farewell and wish him all the best. He has been a true friend, a man of principle and integrity, and we will surely miss him.