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     96 House Members to Bush: Stand by Taiwan on APEC Participation 


November 2, 2001                                  

In a bipartisan letter initiated by Rep. David Wu (D-OR), ninety-six House Members castigated the People's Republic of China for "deliberately" preventing Taiwan's participation in the recent APEC leaders' summit and asked President Bush "to speak up on behalf of Taiwan at all appropriate opportunities in the future, and urge the PRC to allow Taiwan to participate as a full member of APEC, should any APEC meetings ever be held in the PRC again." 

The lawmakers noted "that, as between the PRC and Taiwan, only one government has the benefit of public approval  as expressed through democratic elections."  They also voiced their concern that the PRC's actions "will not help reduce tensions between Taiwan and the PRC and will certainly not help foster productive bilateral talks across the Taiwan Strait.  The instability this creates does nothing to further U.S. goals of ending terrorism, nor does it promote any improvement in the economic environment in the region." 

"This letter gives Congressional back up to President Bush's remarks concerning Taiwan during his Shanghai meetings with Jiang Zemin," stated Wu Ming-chi, FAPA's Acting President.  "A Reuters' 10/19 report quoted a 'senior aide' as saying that President Bush 'strongly reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, which allows the United States to sell defensive military equipment to Taiwan and declares peace and stability in the area are in U.S. interests.'  The aide also said that Bush 'affirmed his belief that Taiwan ought to be treated with respect.'" 

"With this Congressional support in hand, I hope the Bush Administration will block any PRC monkey business over Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organization next month," Wu concluded. 

On Oct. 19, the State Department praised Taiwan for the role it has played in APEC and said that Taiwan's absence from the APEC meeting "will be a loss for all participants."  State said that Washington does not see this "as a precedent for future APEC meetings."  It also said that the United States "expects Taiwan will attend next year's leaders' meetings" which will be held in Mexico.



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