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 2004  Taiwanese American Heritage Week

Contact: Iris Ho at 202-547-3686

For immediate release                                                                                          May 13, 2004

CONGRESSIONAL TAIWAN CAUCUS CHAIRS CALL FOR "FREQUENT, HIGHEST LEVEL EXCHANGES”

In a resolution introduced in the House of Representatives on May 13, marking the fifth annual Taiwanese American Heritage Week, the co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Reps. Robert Wexler, Steve Chabot, Sherrod Brown and Dana Rohrabacher "recognize the importance of Taiwanese Americans to the United States." 

The resolution notes that "Taiwanese Americans have made distinct and important contributions to the United States and the rest of the world in many fields, as evidenced most recently during the Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which Taiwanese Americans have served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces."

Every year, the month of May is designated as a month of national celebration and commemoration of the innumerable contributions that Asians and Pacific Islanders have made to American society and American life. Every year, the week starting with Mothers' Day is designated as Taiwanese-American Heritage Week. This year, Taiwanese Americans are celebrating Taiwanese-American Heritage Week at different weeks during the month of May.

The Heritage Week is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating aspects of Taiwanese-American Heritage in the United States as well as to paying tribute to those who have enriched every aspect of the Taiwanese cultural experience with their talents, intellect, and activism.

In the resolution, introducers refer to Taiwan's bid to "become a responsible member of the World Health Organization." Additionally, they state that "frequent exchanges, including exchanges at the highest level of government, contribute to broadening the friendship and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan."

"Taiwanese Americans having their own Heritage Week will reinforce the understanding amongst the American public that Taiwan is not a province of China, but that Taiwan and China are two separate countries," states FAPA President Ming-chi Wu.

"Taiwanese Americans are proud to be citizens of this country which believes in democracy and equality. We now hope to see this Administration give Taiwan more equal treatment as well. We applaud the call by Members of Congress during the Taiwan Relations Act 25th anniversary hearing on April 21st for Taiwan's President to visit the United States and this call is being affirmed today by this resolution."

FAPA 新聞稿】                                                                                                【2004年5月13日】

台灣連線引進決議案,讚揚台美人貢獻並強調台美兩國高層交流的重要性

美國國會台灣連線四位共同主席,布朗(Sherrod Brown, D-OH),羅拉巴克(Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA),魏克斯勒(Robert Wexler, D-FL),與夏波(Steve Chabot, R-OH)在今日共同引進一決議案,祝賀在五月中旬於全美各地展開的台美人傳統週節慶,認可台美人對美國的重要性與讚揚台美人對其僑居地美國的貢獻。

決議案裡表示,台美人在各行各業以及世界各個角落都創造出卓越的貢獻;其中尤以最近的美伊戰爭中,台美人與其他美國士兵並肩作戰,投身伊拉克戰場,為美國效命,為最有力的例證。

今天的決議案裡並提到台灣參與世衛等國際組織是為了成為國際社會中負責任的一員。決議案也觸及台美兩國高層官員互訪一事,「美國與台灣之間的頻繁交流,其中包括兩國政府之間高層官員的互訪,有助於加深兩國情誼與合作。」

台灣人公共事務會會長吳明基表示:「透過台美人傳統週這個節慶的存在,一般美國民眾將更加瞭解台灣與中國究竟是兩個不同的國家。」

吳明基接著表示:「台美人對於身為美國,這個崇尚自由與平等國家的一員感到驕傲,而我們也期望看到美國決策部門能給予台灣更平等的待遇。這也是為什麼繼部份議員在上個月國際關係委員會的聽證會上,提到歡迎陳水扁總統早日訪問華府之後,台灣連線主席們特地在今日的決議案中再次重申台美兩國高層官員的互訪的重要性與正當性。」吳明基最後表示:「今天美國可以讓中國領導人胡錦濤訪問華府,為什麼經由民主程序選出來,代表台灣人的陳水扁總統不能?」

每年五月是美國的「亞太民族傳統月」。期間,來自亞太地區的族裔分別舉辦各種活動,慶祝亞太族裔的傳統文化及他們對美國社會的貢獻。台灣人公共事務會為了提昇美國社會大眾對台美人有正確及更進一步的瞭解及重視,與全美台灣同鄉會及所有台美人組織自1999年起,在五月中訂定一週為『台美人傳統週』。台美傳統週已於今年正式邁入第五年。

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