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    Statement from Rep. Brown


Taiwanese American Heritage Week by U. S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

May 9, 2000

It is my pleasure to celebrate Pacific American Heritage Month and Taiwanese American Heritage Week. The Pacific American community has made invaluable contributions to this nation's history and is dedicated to improving the future.

Taiwanese Americans have proven there are no boundaries to what they can do. Excelling in all areas of business, science, arts and literature, Taiwanese Americans are strong and vibrant contributors to our nation's economic and cultural development. This community of more than 500,000 people embodies the work ethic and creativity that has positioned the United States as a world leader over the last century.

Taiwan's significant progress toward democracy is also cause for celebration. The election of Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu is truly a historical event. The race was more than a race between candidates. It was a race between the people of Taiwan and the Beijing leadership. Taiwan's 23 million people did not bow to China's intimidation tactics. Instead, they chose democracy and will not be deterred from their course. I am confident the President-elect will bring prosperity and peace to Taiwan's 23 million people.

Now is the time to look toward the future. Taiwan must build upon this foundation and become a model of Democracy for all of Asia. It must show, through its right to self-determination, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, that democracy can work for Taiwan and its 23 million citizens.

The People's Republic of China must accept reality. There are two sovereign countries facing the Taiwan Strait. Their continual threats of military strength are intolerable. The international community needs to stop bowing to Beijing's threats and allow Taiwan a voice in global politics. Access to the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other international organizations is vital to Taiwan's recognition to the international community.

I commend the Taiwanese American community for their great contributions to our country, and look forward to a continued partnership supporting democracy and freedom in the next millennium.

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