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Commemorating The 30Th Anniversary Of The Enactment Of The Taiwan Relations Act

Rep. David Wu

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Madam Speaker, I rise to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act.

For 60 years, the United States and Taiwan have fostered a close relationship that has been of mutual political, economic, cultural, and strategic benefit. When the United States shifted diplomatic relations from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People's Republic of China in January 1979, Congress moved quickly to pass the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure that the United States would have continued commercial, cultural, and other relations with Taiwan. With President Carter's signature on April 10, 1979, this important and lasting piece of legislation became law and codified the basis for relations between the United States and Taiwan. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act.

Over these past 30 years, Taiwan has seen remarkable changes, from rapid economic growth to significant political transformation. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Taiwan witnessed a peaceful transition of political power from a one-party state under martial law to a full-fledged democracy and a multi-party political system. In March of last year, the people of Taiwan participated in Taiwan's fourth direct and democratic presidential election. The smooth and peaceful transition from one administration to another is a testament to Taiwan's continued dedication to the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

The Taiwan Relations Act has also been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability across the Taiwan Strait. When the Taiwan Relations Act was signed into law, it affirmed that the United States' decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China was based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined by peaceful means. The Act also states that ``the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.'' I believe that, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States should continue to support the legitimate defense needs of Taiwan.

It is my hope that the United States, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China can continue to work together to promote enduring peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, especially across the Taiwan Strait. Let us recognize the past 30 years of the Taiwan Relations Act and maintain and strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations for many years to come.