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    FAQ on High-Level Visits

Q: What is this high-level visits issue?

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 Foreign Affairs.

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 retaliatory measures.

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. 

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