Mr. Speaker, on January 14, 2012, the Honorable Ma Ying-jeou was elected to a second term as the President of the Republic of China. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Ma and the people of Taiwan on the strength and vitality of their commitment to democracy.
For over a half century, Taiwan has been a strong, democratic ally to the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and across the world. Our peoples have enjoyed a close friendship forged by our political, economic, cultural, and strategic ties. Taiwan's sustained economic and sociopolitical development has set an admirable exemplar that many countries seek to emulate. Taiwan's global scope and leadership has transcended many sectors, particularly healthcare. Taiwan boasts one of the most innovative and efficient healthcare systems in the world. As an advocate for building mutual relationships, I am confident that the U.S.-Taiwan bond will only become stronger with Taiwan's inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Over 400,000 Taiwanese citizens visit the United States each year; this could increase by 20 to 30 percent once Taiwan gains admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I know first-hand the importance this partnership holds for our Taiwanese-American communities. According to the 2010 Census there are approximately 230,000 Taiwanese-Americans currently living here in the United States, many of whom live in my home district in Silicon Valley. Taiwanese-Americans are frequently highly educated contributors to the vibrancy of the U.S. economy, and this is reflected in their sectors of employment. The majority of Taiwanese-Americans work in management, business, finance, information technology, sciences and engineering. As a representative of ethnically diverse Silicon Valley, I proudly join Taiwanese-Americans and the technology industry in celebrating the growing, collaborative economic relationship between the United States and Taiwanese companies.
Many of these advances are attributed to President Ma's strong and visionary leadership during his first term as president. I commend President Ma and his Administration for their tremendous strides in working toward stability amidst international economic uncertainty and in strengthening cross-strait relations with the People's Republic of China. President Ma's reelection is a testament to the people of Taiwan supporting his efforts and leadership. In fact, Taiwan's presidential race elicited unprecedented grassroots organization, from everyday citizens to business executives, to rally support for President Ma's reelection. The Taiwanese people have truly spoken, and their approval of President Ma's rapprochement policy with the People's Republic of China is an encouraging beacon from which we can all learn from.
Once again, I congratulate President Ma Ying-jeou and the people of the Republic of China for a highly celebrated election. I look forward to my upcoming visit to Taiwan and meeting with President Ma. It will be a pleasure to continue working with President Ma and his Administration to strengthen our U.S.-Taiwan partnership and ensure peace and stability for our peoples, the region, and the world.
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