RECOGNIZING PRESIDENT CHEN OF TAIWAN-HON. RALPH M. HALL (Extensions of Remarks - October 11, 2004)
Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, in honor of Taiwan's National Day on October 10, 2004, I wish to salute President Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwanese people for their many economic and political accomplishments.
Even though Taiwan is a small island nation with few natural resources, it has prospered. With one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, Taiwan's 23 million people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. President Chen believes that every citizen of Taiwan ought to enjoy the right to work, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to an education, the right to medical care, the right to participate in elections, and the right to social security in the event of unemployment, illness and disability.
In his May 20 inaugural address to his people, President Chen expressed his hope that Taiwan-China ties could be strengthened and urged cooperation in building a dynamic "peace and stability framework" for cross-strait interaction. I hope that talks will resume toward that end.
Even though Taiwan and the United States do not have formal diplomatic ties, our two peoples are very close. In terms of trading relations with us, Taiwan is our eighth largest trading partner, thus providing many jobs for our manufacturers. In addition, more than 30,000 Taiwan students study at U.S. colleges and universities. The United States is the number one destination for most of Taiwan travelers. The U.S. and Taiwan share many values in common, such as attachment to freedom, democracy, and human rights.
As Taiwan celebrates National Day, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Taiwan's many accomplishments and offering our support to President Chen as he provides leadership, vision, and direction for Taiwan.