International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde's
Ladies and Gentlemen of FAPA:
I am pleased, as part of the third annual Asian Pacific
Heritage Month, to congratulate Taiwanese Americans on the
proclamation of Taiwanese American heritage Week (TAHW)
which is being celebrated from May 11th-18th.
This third annual commemoration will recognize and
honor the cultural, economic, artistic, scientific, and
medical contributions made to the United States by Taiwanese
celebration is also a vehicle to promote mutual understanding
between Taiwanese American and those Americans of other
ethnic groups, as well as to enhance mutual understanding
and cohesion among different generations of Taiwanese Americans.
This year the celebration is especially significant
as other American look to the support of our long-standing
Taiwanese American fellow citizens in the aftermath of the
September 11th tragedy. Taiwanese Americans have overwhelmingly responded to the relief
is yet another example of the Taiwanese community’s support
for the preservation of the institutions of this democracy,
as well as its values, and for the maintenance of the rule
of law under the threat of international terrorism.
As I noted in public remarks made last August while
visiting Taipei, although Taiwan has established a democracy
which can serve as a role model for political evolution
in a Chinese cultural contact, challenges still remain ahead.
Clear recognition of Taiwan’s legitimate role in
the world community through participation in international
organizations is of paramount importance.
I was pleased to note that Taiwan immediately followed
China in acceding to membership in the World Trade Organization
(WTO) late last year.
Beijing sought Taiwan’s participation as a “separate
customs territory” for its own commercial interest but has
pursued a double standard in blocking Taiwan’s participation
in other international organizations.
The most recent example involves the World Health
Organization (WHO), to which Taiwan has applied for observer
status comparable to that granted to the International Rotary
Club and the Knights of Malta, among others.
Membership in the WHO is crucial to the long-term
health and viability of the people of Taiwan.
Since statehood is not an issue in applying for observer
status, Beijing has no grounds for its continued obstruction
of Taiwan’s membership.
With all that the Taiwanese people and Taiwanese
Americans have accomplished in both the medical and other
health fields, there can be not complete satisfaction until
Taiwan’s status and global contributions are respected and
appreciated by the international community.
Your wholehearted support for the TAHW celebration
as part of Asian Pacific heritage Month will help further
the positive contributions of Taiwanese Americans as they
continue to make great strides in bringing together the
best of the East and the West.
Together, we can all make TAHW a valuable and enduring
means of celebration for our ethnic Taiwanese citizens.
Very Truly Yours.