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    Statement from Sen. Torricelli

Statement on the Taiwanese American Heritage Week

Senator Robert Torricelli, D-NJ

May 9, 2000


Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, this month I join people in New Jersey and throughout the nation in celebrating Pacific-American Heritage Month. The Pacific-American community represents an important part of America's future and I applaud their proud celebration of heritage and community.

Taiwanese-American Heritage Week, from May 7 to May 14, celebrates the unique and diverse contributions of the more than 500,000 Taiwanese-Americans in the United States. These Americans have played a significant role in our nation's life and their countless accomplishments can be found in every facet of American society. For instance, Taiwanese-Americans have succeeded as notable artists, Nobel Laureate scientists, researchers, human rights activists, and business leaders.

In addition to recognizing these contributions, this is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the success of democracy on the island of Taiwan. Since 1987, the Taiwanese people have possessed the rights to select their own leaders, practice the religion of their choice, and express their thoughts openly and freely. Taiwan is a vibrant and democratic participant in the family of nations.

The election on March 18 of opposition leader Chen Shui-bian as president, and my friend Annette Lu as vice-president, represents the crowning achievement of the struggle of the people of Taiwan for full-fledged democracy and freedom. While Taiwan has established a model democracy, there remain political challenges. Gaining worldwide recognition of the legitimacy of Taiwan's government is paramount. With all that Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans have accomplished there is still more work to be done before Taiwan's status and global contributions are properly respected and appreciated.

Mr. President, Taiwanese-American Heritage Week recognizes the longstanding friendship between the United States and Taiwan. I commend the great accomplishments and contributions of the Taiwanese-American community.

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