Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, on October 10, 2012, America's very good friends, The Republic of China commonly known as Taiwan), will celebrate their 101st anniversary.
Both the United States and Taiwan share the fact that they are relatively new countries when compared to the rest of the world. Taiwan is 101 years old and the United States just celebrated its 236th birthday; both are much younger than those countries with roots dating back to some of the ancient civilizations.
But in the past 100 years, America has changed so much and, arguably, Taiwan has changed even more. In the last 16 years alone, Taiwan has become a full blown democracy with a President and Legislature being directly elected by its citizens. In 1996, Taiwan had their first Presidential election and during that time they have had three peaceful transfers of power from one party to another.
The people of Southeast Asia are fortunate to have a beacon of democracy like Taiwan to look up to, and we Americans are fortunate to call them friends and allies. Under President Ma's leadership, I am confident that Taiwan will continue to thrive and our relationship will prosper.