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The text of the Letter to President Chen

May 17, 2002

President Chen Shui-bian
Office of the President
122 Section 1, Chung-chin South Road
Taipei, Taiwan

Dear President Chen:

As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, we want to congratulate you on the 2nd anniversary of your inauguration as President of Taiwan on May 20, 2002. As Congress and the American people continue their commitment and support for the people of Taiwan, it is important that we highlight this momentous occasion and the unbreakable bond between our two peoples.

Over the past two years, Taiwan's democracy has grown stronger and more resilient. We are extremely impressed by your commitment to the political and economic success of the people of Taiwan who share your unbridled enthusiasm and determination for a better future.

As the model of a successful free market economy, Taiwan is one of the world's major trading countries and a significant voice in the global economy. We want to congratulate you and your government on Taiwan's historic accession to the World Trade Organization, which we believe was long overdue. Taiwan is America's seventh largest trading partner, and we look forward to upgrading and expanding our trade and economic relationship.

In addition to Taiwan's economic success, we fully support your recent decision to improve cross-strait relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). We welcome your bold initiative to revive cross-strait talks and support your efforts to discuss direct transport, postal and trade with the PRC. This initiative, if received positively in Beijing, will greatly help to diffuse tension in the Taiwan Strait and could lead to greater cooperation between Taiwan and China. However, please know that although we are working to promote peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, U.S. policy must state, in no uncertain terms, that the future of Taiwan must be resolved peacefully with the express consent of the people of Taiwan and free from outside threats, intimidation, or interference.

We want to express our support for your government and the people of Taiwan as an important economic and strategic ally of the United States. The Congressional Taiwan Caucus (with over 100 members) was recently formed to build on the already strong relations between Tapei and Washington. Over the next year, we look forward to working with you and your government in a number of areas, including a renewed effort to support Taiwan's bid to obtain observer status at the World Health Organization, upgrading overall trade relations, the continuation of high-level meetings between American and Taiwanese cabinet members and a concerted effort to reinvigorate cross-strait talks to help preserve peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Again, congratulations on the 2nd anniversary of your inauguration as President of Taiwan. We know that Taiwan's future as a bastion of democracy and freedom will continue to shine brightly in the new millennium.


Rep. Robert Wexler Rep. Steve Chabot Rep. Sherrod Brown Rep. Dana Rohrabacher



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