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101st Anniversary of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, October 10th heralds one century and one year of the Republic of China (ROC).

History--and, particularly Chinese history--is filled with many tales of heartbreak, despotism, suffering and despair. But more than a century ago, one man, Dr. Sun Yat-sen had a different vision for a new China. Having spent his formative adolescent years in the U.S. state of Hawaii, Dr. Sun returned to China inspired by the uniquely American ideals of U.S. Presidents Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln. When given the chance, Dr. Sun would tell anybody who would listen that the crux of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, ``government of the people, by the people, for the people'', had shaped his own political philosophy, the Three Principles of the People.

While implementation of Sun's three principles was often flawed and undermined while the ROC was on mainland China, they eventually took shape--long after his death following the ROC's move to Taiwan in 1949. In 1987, Taiwan lifted its Martial Law Emergency Decree. In 1991, free elections were held for the island's Legislative Yuan. And in 1996, amidst the attempted intimidation of mainland Chinese missiles being lobbed into the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan staged its first free presidential election. Taiwan has since had three more four presidential elections--most recently, this past January with power changing hands once in each direction.

Voter participation in Taiwan is among the highest in the world, and its people value and embrace its democracy. With so many government ministers having lived and studied in the United States, the ROC-U.S. connection and shared democratic ideals forged under Dr. Sun are alive and well in Taiwan.

I urge all my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Republic of China on its 101 years of principled existence, and on its living example of true democracy.

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