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Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
November in his speech in Kyoto, the President praised
Taiwan as a free, democratic and prosperous country, and
held it up as an example for China. We in Congress applauded
the President for that statement.
However, in spite of our praise for Taiwan, the United
States still treats Taiwan like a pariah in the
international community. Our country’s actions toward Taiwan
should reinforce our stated support and high regard for this
brave nation. If we want to foster democracy around the
world, we need to work closely with those who have strived
for, and achieved, democracy.
way to help Taiwan nurture and protect its democracy is to
gradually normalize our contacts and communications with the
democratically-elected leadership on the island. I would
therefore urge you to invite Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian
to stop in New York on his way back from Paraguay next week,
as he did three years ago. This would enable members of
Congress to travel to New York to meet with the President,
providing them an important opportunity to discuss recent
developments in Taiwan and in the Taiwan Strait.
Additionally, we urge you to reach out to President Chen
while he is in New York to discuss Taiwan's role in the
Taiwan made its transition to democracy only 15 years ago.
While that transition itself was relatively peaceful,
Taiwan's present democracy is rather fragile, and is
threatened from three sides: 1) China's military threats, 2)
Taiwan's internal divisions, primarily due to the fact that
the loyalties of the old Kuomintang are more with China than
with Taiwan itself, and 3) the lack of international support
for Taiwan's democracy.
our sincere belief that the United States needs to do a
better job in nurturing and protecting the fragile democracy
in Taiwan. We can do that by communicating directly with
President Chen about how he sees the role of his country in
promoting democracy around the world.
look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Member of Congress