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 US Reps. Urge Secretary Rice to Communicate Directly with Taiwan President

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May 2, 2006

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Secretary of State

Washington, D.C. 20520


Dear Secretary Rice:

Last 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.

One 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 international community.

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.

It is 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.

We look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.


Rep. Sherrod Brown                                                      Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Member of Congress                                                     Member of Congress

Co-Chair                                                                       Co-Chair

Taiwan Caucus                                                             Taiwan Caucus                        



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