By William Lowther
Two leading US senators formally congratulated Taiwan on Thursday -- Double Ten National Day -- and praised the nation as one of the US' most important partners in Asia.
"Taiwan in 2013 is a vibrant, multiparty democracy with a highly skilled, talented society and advanced industrial economy, which is in turn a key component of the global economy," they said in a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James Inhofe are active supporters of Taiwan on Capitol Hill and co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus.
"As longstanding friends of Taiwan, we recognize the importance of this day in history and to all freedom-loving people everywhere," they said.
Democrat Menendez and Republican Inhofe said in their letter that there can be no doubt that Taiwanese are keepers of the legacy of the Xinhai Revolution and have fulfilled its promise.
"Our shared interests and values guarantee that our friendship -- reflected in the many Double Ten celebrations that will also take place in various communities here in the United States -- will stand the test of time," the two senators said.
They said that 102 years ago, courageous people inspired by the shared vision of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) and others rose up against a monarchy ill-suited to changing times, ill-matched against the interference of foreign powers and incapable of representing the will of the people.
"As a result of their actions in Wuchang, provincial assemblies across southern China declared the independence of their provinces and allied themselves with the rebellion," they said. "The successful result of what became known as the Xinhai Revolution was the establishment in 1912 of the Republic of China, the first republic in Asia."
Both senators have strongly supported the sale of F16C/D planes to Taiwan and have pushed for the nation's representation in international organizations.
Menendez and Inhofe wrote to the Office of the US Trade Representative in March to support the signing of a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan.
They are expected to take the issue up again at the end of this year.