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The 100th Anniversary of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, yesterday, October 10th marked the 100 year anniversary of the Republic of China (ROC).

* And how the ROC has grown over the years since the 1911 Revolution! The state played a vital role as a founding member of the United Nations and contributed to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, infusing into it the spirit of Confucianism. And it drafted the most progressive and democratic constitution in Asia. And finally, the state found solid footing on the island of Taiwan in 1949. It has successfully transitioned into a liberal democracy and become the first democratic state in an ethnic Chinese society in history.

* Today, the ROC is a model of political and economic progress for developing nations around the world. It is a modern and industrialized nation, an early adapter and proponent of a global and interconnected marketplace. Taiwan, Asia's first Economic Tiger, embraced market reforms in the 1950s and quickly launched some of the best known, and most efficient, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that came to serve many U.S. multinationals. Today's Taiwan is a technology powerhouse and the island's firmly entrenched in the top tier of developed world markets.

* And while many other markets turn inwards when economic times are tough, Taiwan's almost always kept its trade and investment doors open. A founding member of the Asia Development Bank in 1966, the ROC on Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. It further acceded to the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in 2009.

* And since 2008, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has removed many of the longstanding trade and investment barriers to mainland China, resulting in Taiwan now best positioned serving as a global gateway to the Greater China market. This new outlook culminated in last year's signing of the Economic and Cooperation Framework Agreement between Taiwan and mainland China. Foreign firms can now access mainland China's vast economic potential from the comfort and safety of a Taiwan market that's among the friendliest in the world to U.S. companies and one that also values and protects their intellectual property.

* As we celebrate this hundred years of history, let us recall that the ROC of today has come about thanks to generations of people who have fought for social reform and a democratic future.

* And as the Republic of China embarks on a new century, I hope it will be a model democratic nation for the world and continue to grow and prosper. I therefore urge all my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Republic of China on its 100 years of existence, Taiwan's many economic achievements since 1949, and to further support enhanced economic relations between the United States and Taiwan.

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