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Honoring Ambassador C.J. Chen

Location: Washington, DC

HONORING AMBASSADOR C.J. CHEN -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 08, 2004)


Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, today I rise and join my colleagues in honoring a unique man and a graceful diplomat.

After 4 years of exemplary service as the head representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), the quasi-embassy of the Republic of China (ROC), Ambassador C.J. Chen is returning to Taiwan. In fact, since joining his country's foreign service 37 years ago, Ambassador Chen has continuously been involved with U.S.-Taiwan relations in his many job assignments both in Taiwan and in the United States.

In 1979 when the United States severed diplomatic relations with Taipei and recognized Beijing, Ambassador Chen was then working in Taiwan's embassy in Washington. He spent days and nights negotiating and communicating with U.S. government officials and lawmakers in helping draft the Taiwan Relations Act (P.L. 96-8). Signed into law on April 10, 1979, this important legislation has enabled Taiwan to grow both economically and politically during the last quarter century.

In subsequent years, Ambassador Chen has played many key roles in Taiwan's foreign ministry. He has encouraged the U.S. to act as a balancer and facilitator in handling its relations with both Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PROC). In addition, Ambassador Chen and other leaders in Taiwan have been successful in urging the U.S. to continue to provide Taiwan with military aid necessary for its self-defense.

During the last 4 years, Ambassador Chen has aimed to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations which are now at their highest point since 1979. While there have been no major changes in U.S. policy toward either side of the Taiwan strait recently, the U.S. stance toward Taiwan has improved significantly, largely due to Taiwan's democratic government.
In addition to the Bush Administration's goodwill towards Taiwan, support on Capitol Hill continues to grow. Since the start of the 108th Congress, both the House and Senate have introduced and/or passed various resolutions relating to Taiwan including support for: (1) Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO); (2) A U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement and; (3) Taiwan's security. Ambassador Chen has played a critical role in building support for each and every one of these resolutions.

Mr. Speaker, while Ambassador Chen is indeed leaving Washington, I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the enhancement of U.S.-Taiwan relations in the future. I wish C.J. and his wife Yolanda all the best. They will be greatly missed here in Washington.

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