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    Members of Congress Write to Secretary Albright

Congress of the United States

Washington, DC 20515

August 25, 2000

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Department of State

2201 C Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20520


Dear Secretary Albright,

            We are writing to express our disappointment at the State Department's restrictions on Taiwan's democratically-elected President, Chen Shui-bian, during his transit stop in Los Angeles this past weekend.

            A number of Democratic and Republican Members of Congress sought to meet privately with President Chen on Sunday, August 13. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend this meeting due to pressure from the U.S. State Department.

            The United States has fought for democracy around the world and is without a doubt the world's leading democracy as we enter the new century. Yet, when visiting the US, Taiwan's president was denied the basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. The 23 million people of Taiwan have built a mature democracy over the past decade. We wanted to speak with President Chen about his country's accomplishments and its plans to support U.S. interests in Asia.

            US policy toward China and Taiwan should be evenhanded. It is the responsibility of both sides of the Taiwan Strait to come to a mutually acceptable, peaceful resolution that has, as President Clinton has repeatedly stated, the "assent" of the people of Taiwan. Since Jiang Zemin comes to the U.S. to give his views, Chen Shui-bian and his ministers should have the same right.

            We request that the State Department immediately conduct a review of Administration policy on visits by high-level Taiwanese officials to the U.S. and take the necessary steps to end the inappropriate ban on high-level visits between elected Taiwanese officials and U.S. officials, including the democratically-elected President of Taiwan.



Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Rep. David Wu (D-OR)

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL)

Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA)

Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-FL)

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)

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