• Mr. Speaker, I rise in recognition of the upcoming National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan ) on October 10, 2015.
  • The relationship between our two great countries has been long and prosperous, and will continue long into the future. During WWII, the Republic of China helped the allied forces defeat Japanese troops and ultimately win the war. In 1954, Taiwan signed the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, which ensured peace in the Taiwan Strait and allowed for continued Taiwanese development. Later, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), passed in 1979, guaranteed the future for a prosperous relationship.
  • Since that time, Taiwan has continued to be a strong security and trade partner to the U.S. America has provided Taiwan with $18.3 billion in arms sales over the past seven years. In May 2015, the U.S. Congress passed initiatives aimed at increasing U.S.-Taiwan military exchanges, including participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
  • On the trade front, Taiwan has not only become one of the leading economies in the Asia-Pacific region, but the entire world. Taiwan is America's tenth largest trading partner and America is Taiwan's third largest trading partner after China and Japan. Taiwan has even been named the third best country to invest in and the U.S. is Taiwan's largest foreign investor.
  • In addition to being a strong trading partner, Taiwan has emerged as a responsible participant in the international market and an active member of prominent international organizations. Taiwan has been an outstanding member since becoming a member of the World Trade Organization in 2002. In 2008, the WTO Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures elected Lo Chang-fa, a professor specializing in international trade at National Taiwan University, to serve on its Permanent Group of Experts panel. Later that same year, Taiwan became a member of the Agreement on Government Procurement. These steps in the WTO show how the world has recognized Taiwan as a leading economy.
  • In January 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) made arrangements for Taiwan to become a party to the International Health Regulations.
  • This has enabled the Taiwanese to have direct contact with the WHO and gives it access to firsthand information on public health emergencies of international concern. Moreover, the WHO can dispatch personnel to provide assistance during any future health crisis in Taiwan .
  • Given Taiwan's proven track record of being a reliable member in international bodies, we should encourage more international participation by Taiwan . For example, given that criminals do not care about boundaries separating countries, it is critical that nations are able to share information on criminals and suspicious activity with each other, but Taiwan cannot do that because it is not yet a member of INTERPOL. Taiwan should be granted observer status in INTERPOL as soon as possible.
  • It is critical that the United States and Taiwan maintain and enhance their present relationship. From rising insecurity in the region to economic challenges the world over, our two countries need to face the future arm in arm. I congratulate Taiwan on its National Day and look forward to many more years of a close partnership.
  • And that's just the way it is.