Q: What is this high-level
A: Currently five individuals from Taiwan cannot travel freely to
the United States. They cannot travel within a thirty miles radius
of the U.S. Capital - Washington, DC. FAPA STRONGLY URGES THE
U.S. GOVERNMENT TO REPEAL THESE RESTRICTIONS.
Q: Who are these five individuals? Are they criminals?
A: No, they are not criminals. Far from it. They are the
highest-level of Taiwanese government officials – the President,
Vice President, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of
Q: Why can't they travel freely to the United States? Why are
they barred from visiting Washington, DC at all? Are there any laws
on these restrictions?
A: The United States government simply does not permit such visits
by these five individuals to take place.
There are NO U.S. laws stipulating these restrictions. Actually,
these restrictions are self-imposed by the U.S. government. The U.S.
government is concerned that once and if we allow them to visit
Washington, DC, the Communist government in Beijing will take
Q: Not even the Minister of Foreign Affairs?
A: That is correct. Imagine if the U.S. Secretary of State (similar
to Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs) could not travel freely to
other countries or were barred to visit important capitals around
the globe such as London or Munich.
Q: Wait a minute. We are talking about American soil. Right?
A: You are right. FAPA strongly believes that we should not let the
Chinese government determine this part of our foreign policy. This
is American soil after all. It should be up to the Americans to
decide who can travel to this country and who cannot. NOT THE
COMMUNIST REGIME IN BEIJING.
Q: Have these Taiwanese leaders visited the United States before
- despite the restrictions?
A: Yes they have; through so called "transit visits." How does this
work? Taiwan has to make up some official visits to Central America
or the Caribbean where most of Taiwan's diplomatic allies are
located. Then on the way to these countries, Taiwanese officials can
briefly stop over in the United States, depending on the outcome of
negotiations with the State Department. For example, if Taiwan's
government is in the favor of the State Department, then the
President of Taiwan can stop over in big cities such as New York or
Miami and maybe he can meet with the press and local Taiwanese
Americans. If, for some reason, the government of Taiwan fell out of
favor with the State Department, the President of Taiwan (who is
democratically elected, mind you) will be "allowed" to transit
through cities that are as far away from Washington, DC, as
possible. The most recent case was in May 2006 when President Chen
was forced to choose between stopping over in either "Alaska" or
"Hawaii", two states outside the mainland, because the State
Department was not happy that President Chen had just done away with
a long-defunct "domestic" government agency.