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 FAPA Press Release on HCR 381
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          

CONTACT: Iris Ho     (202)547-3686                                                                                           

April 7, 2006

 

TAIWAN CAUCUS CO-CHAIRS CALL FOR LIFTING OF ALL RESTRICTIONS ON TAIWAN HI-LEVEL VISITS IN LIGHT OF UPCOMING HU JINTAO VISIT TO WASHINGTON DC

On April 6, co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced HCR381. The resolution concludes that: “all restrictions on visits by high-level elected and appointed officials of Taiwan to the United States, including the democratically elected president of Taiwan, should be lifted.”

And “the United States should encourage direct high-level exchanges at the Cabinet-level, in order to strengthen a policy dialogue with Taiwan's government.”

Rep. Chabot has previously expressed concern about the self-imposed State Department guidelines not allowing Taiwan officials from coming to Washington. On April 21, 2004, he stated in a Congressional hearing: “I had lunch in the Capitol a few weeks ago with former Legislative Yuan member Mark Chen (Chen Tan-san). Now that Mr. Chen is foreign minister he can no longer come to our Capital on an official visit. Frankly I think that that policy is kind of silly.”

During the visit of President Lee Teng-hui to Washington, DC in October 2005, over a dozen Members of Congress urged the Bush Administration to not only welcome former President Lee to DC but to also let current President Chen Shui-bian come to the Nation’s Capital and meet with him.

FAPA president C.T. Lee, MD states: “The timing of the introduction of this resolution is very significant. With the upcoming visit of China’s unelected President Hu Jintao to the White House, the CTC co-chairs are sending a crystal clear signal to President Bush that the democratically elected President of Taiwan should be welcomed to DC as well.”

He adds: “The present policy dates back to the 1970s, when Taiwan was still under authoritarian rule. It is rather peculiar for the United States to praise Taiwan for its democracy, but then turn around and impose restrictions on direct meetings between the elected leadership in Taiwan and US officials.” 

Lee concludes: “The Taiwan Strait is generally considered one of the five flashpoints in the world.  It is thus essential for US leaders to communicate directly with Taiwan’s democratically-elected government and not just with the authoritarian regime in Beijing.  We should not let the Chinese determine who can come to DC or not. What it comes down to is that we let the Chinese determine this important part of our foreign policy.”

新聞聯絡人何燕青 202-547-3686

FAPA 新聞稿】                                                                                                                                        200647日】

胡錦濤訪美之際,台灣連線引進決議案,支持台灣總統等高層官員自由訪美

由於中國領導人胡錦濤即將於二週後訪問美國首府華盛頓,台灣連線的共同主席夏波議員(Steve Chabot, R- OH)和布朗議員(Sherrod Brown, D-OH)特地趕在國會即將展開為期二週的春季休會前夕,於昨日(6)聯手提出第381號決議案,建議美國完全取消對於台灣高層官員,包括代表台灣人民的民選總統在內,各種訪美的不合理限制。

決議案也表示:「美國應該鼓勵台美兩國內閣層級官員的交流,以加強與台灣政府在政策方面的對話

夏波議員對於台灣高層官員不能踏上華府一步這個政策,有著切身的感受。他曾經在二年前的一場國會聽證會上,引用前外交部長(現任總統府秘書長)陳唐山為例;他在當時表示:「幾個禮拜前,我有機會在國會山莊裡與陳唐山先生共進午餐,當時他是台灣的立法委員;現在他身為台灣的外交部長,卻無法再到國會進行官方的正式拜會。坦白說,我認為這個政策很愚蠢。」

此外,前總統李登輝於去年十月訪問華府時,受到二十多位議員在國會山莊的歡迎;與會的議員們均不約而同表示,美國不僅應該歡迎卸任的台灣總統到訪,他們更希望看到現任的陳水扁總統能夠有朝一日參訪美國首府。 

FAPA會長李青泰指出:「兩位議員們特地選在這個時候提出第381決議案,是希望行政部門能夠體認到,當中國(非民選)總統即將造訪白宮之際,由台灣人民透過民主程序選出來的總統卻被迫不能踏上華府一步,是一大諷刺。」

FAPA會長李青泰接著表示:「美國政府取消對台灣高層官員訪美的限制,不僅能展現美國對民主台灣的支持,更重要的是,我們認為此舉將協助維護美國本身在東亞的權益。因為,台灣海峽為公認的五大軍事衝突點之一,美國與其盟友在當地有著重大的戰略安全利益,與台灣總統等高層官員能夠直接、不受限制地交換意見,其實是有助於美國政界領袖就台海議題得到第一手來自台灣的消息,以獲得兩方平衡的意見。」

李青泰最後表示:「現有的限制,不僅加深美台兩國溝通的鴻溝,也否定了台灣對民主的努力以及對民選總統所應得到的尊敬。限制台灣高層官員訪美,根本是美國深怕惹惱中國,這樣卻造成了一個假象,好像中國有權替美國決定誰能踏上美國的土地,誰又不能。這不應該是美國的外交政策吧。

 
 
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