Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, I want to extend warm congratulations and best wishes to President Ma Ying-jeou for his inauguration on the occasion of the Republic of China's Centennial National Day. This national holiday commemorates the 1911 Wu-ch'ang uprising that ended centuries of monarch rule and led to the birth of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Taiwan and the United States enjoy an important relationship that reflects our two countries' historical, cultural, and economic ties over the last century. While there is no formal relationship between the two countries, the United States and Taiwan continue to be strong partners in trade, cultural and educational exchanges, as well as cooperation in many other areas. In the last three and a half years, the relationship between the United States and Taiwan has grown even stronger. Taiwan's cooperation with the United States in combating global terrorism has earned the trust of the American people and improved our exchanges and enhanced the friendship between our two nations. These relations also include discussions about Taiwan's military needs. A strong Taipei-Washington relationship is in the best interests of both and the stability of East Asia. Last year, we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, the cornerstone of the U.S.-Taiwan relations.
Recently, there has been good news about Taiwan's rapprochement with mainland China. Taiwan has concluded 16 agreements with mainland China and each one is based on the principles of parity, dignity, and reciprocity and ensures that Taiwan comes first for the benefit of its people. I sincerely hope that Taiwan and China will continue to work together and cultivate a future based on respect, democracy, and freedom. Again, congratulations to President Ma Ying-jeou on his second inauguration.