Six Members of the U.S. House of Representatives returned to Washington yesterday upon concluding an official visit to Taiwan and South Korea, during which they met with senior officials of these two key U.S. allies, including President Ma of Taiwan and President Lee of Korea.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led the delegation, which also included U.S. Reps. Dan Burton (R-IN), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Brad Miller (D-NC) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH).
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: "This trip underscored the importance of America's alliances with Taiwan and South Korea. These key allies are security partners in a region of growing threats and challenges to U.S. interests. They are also key economic partners, and they share our values of freedom and democracy. The delegation members and I appreciate the opportunity we had to discuss such important issues with these key allies."
Statement by Burton: "It was very important to attend President Ma's inauguration, and later meet with Ma and other Taiwanese officials to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. In South Korea, meeting with President Lee was an opportunity to discuss how to address the serious threat posed by the regime just north of the border, which we literally came face-to-face with when we visited the de-militarized zone. Working together with each of these allies, we can make our nations more prosperous and more secure."
Statement by McCotter: "It was an honor, enlightening and inspiring, to engage with the duly elected servants and the free peoples of the Republic of China and the Republic of Korea, our steadfast allies in the promotion of liberty, prosperity and security."
Statement by Gerlach: "Meeting with senior leaders in both countries has broadened my understanding of the trade opportunities available to the farmers, manufacturers and other job creators in Pennsylvania and provided a great perspective on the strategic importance of two of our strongest allies in Asia."
Statement by Miller: "Strong relationships with Taiwan and South Korea are pillars of a prosperous, stable East Asia, and would be even more important if things come unglued, which could happen with little warning."
Statement by Schmidt: "As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I hope the United States will continue to take steps to strengthen our alliances with Taiwan and South Korea -- by expanding trade with both nations and by providing assurances that we support their sovereignty."