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  HCR 481 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 481

Expressing the sense of Congress regarding high level visits by democratically elected officials of Taiwan to the United States.

Whereas Taiwan is the seventh largest trading partner of the United States and plays an important role in the economy of the Asia-Pacific region;

Whereas Taiwan routinely holds free and fair elections in a multiparty system, and on March 20, 2004, held its third democratic presidential election, in which Chen Shui-bian was re-elected as president of the 23,000,000 people of Taiwan;

Whereas Members of Congress, unlike executive branch officials, have long had the freedom to meet with leaders of governments with which the United States does not have formal relations, and these meetings provide a vital opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern that directly affect United States national interests;

Whereas the United States as acquiesced for more than two decades to demands made by the People's Republic of China to bar the president, vice president, foreign minister,and defense minister of Taiwan from coming to the United States;

Whereas, as a result of the inability of these high level officials to visit the United States, Congress loses the opportunity to communicate directly with them about developments in the Asia-Pacific region and key elements of the relationship between the United States and Taiwan;

Whereas, considering the enormous economic, security, and political interests shared by the United States, Taiwan, and China, there could not be a more important time to find opportunities to meet with Taiwan's new leaders;

Whereas Congress must continue to play an independent oversight role in United States policy toward Taiwan and continue to find ways to reduce tensions across the Taiwan Strait, in particular to counteract the buildup of missiles by China that are pointed at Taiwan;

Whereas the policy of restricting high level officials from Taiwan from making official visits to the United States forces Members of Congress to choose whether to rely solely upon indirect assessments provided by the administration or to travel to Taiwan to obtain this information firsthand and denies the democratically elected officials of Taiwan the respect they deserve;

Whereas by bestowing upon President Chen the respect his office deserves, the United States will demonstrate to the people of Taiwan and China the support of the United States for democracy; and

Whereas the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 (Public Law 103–416) provides that the president or other high level official of Taiwan shall be welcome in the United States at any time to discuss a variety of important issues: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

That it is the sense of Congress that—

(1) it is in the national interests of the United States to communicate directly with democratically elected and appointed officials of Taiwan, including the democratically elected president of Taiwan; and (2) the United States should lift all restrictions on visits by high level officials of Taiwan to the United States.


 

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