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Taiwan Caucus

    Congressman Robert Wexler's prepared statement at Congressional Luncheon

July 23, 2002

It is an honor and privilege to be here today along with the co-founders and Co-Chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Congressmen Steve Chabot, Sherrod Brown and Dana Rohrabacher to welcome the 34 member Taiwanese legislative delegation and representatives of the Taiwan-USA Interparliamentary Amity Association of the Legislative Yuan (U-AN). I want to thank all the Members of Congress who are attending today's event to express their strong support for U.S.-Taiwan relations. I am especially grateful to Taiwan's Ambassador C.J. Chen for co-hosting this lunch which brings together legislators from the United States and Taiwan in an effort

to foster and promote increased cooperation and communication between our two nations. I also want to thank the Chairman of the Taiwan-USA Interparliamentary Association, Mr. Trong Chai (Tie), who is a leading proponent for closer U.S.-Taiwan relations and has played an extraordinary

role in organizing this legislative delegation visit to Washington. Mr. Tie and the interparliamentary association are also organizing and hosting an upcoming global inter-parliamentary conference in Taiwan in January 2003. Legislators from around the globe will be attending the conference including members of our Congressional Taiwan Caucus. Finally, I want to recognize Dr. Wu, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs whose assistance and support of the Taiwan Caucus has been invaluable in strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations.

It has been just over three months, since I joined Mr. Chabot, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Rohrabacher along with over 80 members of Congress in forming the Congressional Taiwan Caucus. At that time we all agreed that there was a need in Washington to form a caucus that would focus solely on strengthening America's economic, political, cultural, and strategic relationship with our democratic ally, Taiwan. Today the Taiwan Caucus has 114 members and is leading efforts in Congress to promote and enhance America's iron-clad relationship with Taiwan. The Caucus has revamped and refocused congressional attention on U.S. foreign policy issues affecting Taiwan and

the East Asia region. The Caucus is also educating Members of Congress on issues affecting U.S.- Taiwan relations and is playing an increasingly important role in monitoring and supporting peaceful cross-strait discussions between Taipei and Beijing. Finally, this important

Congressional organization, as we are witnessing today, serves as a medium by which legislators from the United States and Taiwan can formally exchange ideas and policy concerns.

Today's lunch in honor of the Taiwanese legislators is an historic opportunity to express our unwavering commitment to build on the special relationship the United States has with the people and government of Taiwan.

It is incumbent on Members of Congress and the Taiwan Caucus -- in the shadow of September 11-- to strengthen our commitment to those nations like Taiwan that share our democratic values, respect for human rights, and who have joined us in our campaign against international terrorism. The Taiwanese legislators here in this room today have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States and I welcome them to the United States Congress with great respect and friendship.



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