Mr. Speaker, today the House considers a timely resolution supporting Taiwan's fourth direct and democratic presidential elections which will take place in just a few weeks. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this resolution.

In 1979, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, which caused our Government to consider Taiwan in nearly all respects a sovereign partner. President Ronald Reagan reinforced this stance in 1982 when he publicly reiterated the US position regarding Taiwan's sovereignty. Since that time, the United States and Taiwan have enjoyed increasingly close relations, and our two countries maintain a strong strategic alliance. Today Taiwan remains one of the strongest democratic allies of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.

The United States and Taiwan share a common vision of freedom and democracy. Since Taiwan's first democratic presidential election in 1998, Taiwan has successfully held routine, free, and fair elections in a multiparty system. As a beacon of democracy in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan deserves recognition and support from the United States.

I am pleased to rise in strong support of Taiwan's continued commitment to democratic elections. Now is the time for the United States to reaffirm its unwavering commitment to Taiwan's democracy and security. For an ally that shares our values of freedom, security and prosperity, we can do nothing less.

And that's just the way it is.