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    Taiwanese American Heritage Week  2001

Message from Rep. Howard L. Berman
Taiwanese-American Heritage Week
May 13-20, 2001

I'd like to extend my warmest wishes to all Taiwanese-Americans as we celebrate "Taiwanese-American Heritage Week." This special week honors the outstanding contributions of over 500,000 Taiwanese-Americans to our nation's social, economic and political life. Taiwanese-Americans have excelled in every field, and have made especially notable contributions as medical professionals, Nobel Laureate scientists, business owners and human rights activists.

As we recognize the numerous achievements of Taiwanese-Americans in the United States, Taiwanese-American Heritage Week also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the success of democracy in Taiwan. Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has become an open, democratic society where fundamental freedoms are respected and the will of the people is observed. The Taiwanese-American community deserves a significant amount of credit for aiding in this profound transformation.

The March 18, 2000 election of President Chen Shui-bian represents the crowning achievement of the Taiwanese people's struggle for full-fledged democracy and freedom. This election bodes well for the future of a democratic Taiwan, but many challenges remain. Much more work to be done to ensure that Taiwan's status and global contributions are properly respected and appreciated. In addition, Taiwan must remain vigilant against threats to its own security. I'm confident that Taiwan will meet these challenges and continue to play a productive role in the international community.

Taiwan and the United States share a common commitment to the ideals of democracy, freedom and human rights. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which forms the official basis for friendship and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, continues to provide a strong foundation for the bond between the people of both countries. That bond is made stronger each day by the Taiwanese-American community.

I am privileged to represent a strong Taiwanese-American community, and proud to pay tribute to their strength and activism during Taiwanese-American Heritage Week.


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