* Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor President Ma Ying-jeou and the people of Taiwan as they celebrate their centennial National Day on October 10, 2011.
* Nearly 65,000 Taiwanese-Americans live in the Chicagoland area, and I am always impressed by their engagement in the political process and pride in their culture and history.
* Taiwan is an important friend and ally of the United States. The United States and Taiwan enjoy a robust trade relationship that totals $59 billion in goods and services, making Taiwan the ninth-largest U.S. trade partner. Taiwan also stands as a strong democracy in the Asian-Pacific region.
* It is important to mention the strides Taiwan has made in improving its relationship with mainland China too. The most significant development in recent times was the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement on June 29, 2010. The agreement reduced tariffs and trade barriers between the two sides, improving not just bilateral trade, but the cross-strait relationship. Regular dialogue between Taiwan and mainland China has also helped reduce military tensions.
* Please join me in congratulating President Ma and the people of Taiwan as they celebrate their centennial National Day, and in wishing them many more years of friendship, prosperity, and peace.