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Rep. Andrews Meets with Secretary-General of Taiwan on Self-Determination, Trade, and U.S. Contracts

Location: Unknown

June 6, 2005

On May 19, 2005, I met with Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun of Taiwan and discussed matters of common interest between our two great nations. In light of the People's Republic of China's recent anti-secession law, which threatens force if Taiwan attempts to formally declare independence from the mainland, I expressed my ardent support for Taiwan's right to self-determination. It is a fundamental freedom for all citizens of the earth to govern their communities with sovereignty. The people of Taiwan are entitled to make decisions independent of pressure from the mainland.

As Taiwan is one of the United States' top trading partners, I discussed the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement with Secretary-General Yu. Such an agreement would benefit both of our nations and open Taiwan to U.S. exports. It would be necessary, however, for any proposal to outline strong labor and environmental protections for Taiwan that mirror U.S. priorities. Amidst booming trade between our nations, Taiwan is considering the purchase of an $18.23 billion arms package from the U.S. to aid in the defense of the island nation. This matter and Taiwan's planned telecommunications upgrade were discussed with the Secretary-General. I asked that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Bain build on Taiwan's relationship with New Jersey based Lucent Technologies, Inc., and give their bid all due consideration for this significant contract. I trust that my meeting with Secretary-General Yu has further strengthened the already close bond between our two nations.

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