[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 65 (Thursday, April 30, 2009)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1034-E1035]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. PHIL GINGREY

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 30, 2009

  Mr. GINGREY. Madam Speaker, on March 24, 2009, the House of 
Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 55--recognizing the 30th 
anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA)--unanimously by voice 
vote. The Members of this House have spoken in one voice affirming the 
need to further deepen the relationship between the United States and 
  This anniversary is an important milestone and represents an 
incredible opportunity for us to further build upon and strengthen the 
U.S.-Taiwan relationship. On April 12, 2009, President MaYing-jeou in 
his address on the anniversary of the TRA declared ``the TRA has come 
to symbolize the strong friendship and trust forged between America and 
Taiwan over these past decades'' and the TRA has served as an anchor of 
``peace and stability.''
  In his address, President Ma laid out the historical and political 
significance of the TRA and the diplomatic path hewed by its enactment:

       The TRA was enacted in 1979 by the U.S. Congress to cope 
     with the Taiwan situation after the U.S. had switched 
     diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. It replaced 
     the terribly inadequate arrangement of the Carter 
     Administration, by keeping all aspects of the Taiwan-U.S. 
     relationship intact except, of course, formal diplomatic 
     ties, a mutual defense treaty and the stationing of American 
     troops in Taiwan. One American commentator said in 1979 that 
     while the U.S.-China Joint Communique establishing diplomatic 
     relations derecognized Taiwan, the Taiwan Relations Act has 
     re-recognized it. My Harvard professor Detlev Vagt said to me 
     after the passing of the TRA that Taiwan is the most 
     recognized unrecognized government of the U.S.
       In an imperfect world, the TRA, which largely accommodates 
     Taiwan's needs for continuity, reality, security, legality 
     and governmental status in the new Taiwan-U.S. relationship, 
     is the second-best choice for Taiwan. Today the TRA is more 
     than a convenient solution to a political dilemma. Its very 
     existence changed the evolutionary course of cross-strait 
     development by stabilizing the triangular relationship among 
     Taiwan, the United States and mainland China.

  President Ma also addressed the need to promote Taiwan's economic 
growth and to take the necessary steps to ensure Taiwan's rightful 
place in our global economy:

       We believe that rapprochement with mainland China will 
     improve Taiwan's prospects for expanding our international 
     space. Certainly, the international community will benefit 
     significantly from this change, whether by capitalizing on 
     the new business opportunities thereby made available or 
     simply by no longer being caught in volatile cross-strait 
     relations. For example, the establishment of the Three Links 
     has made it logistically feasible and economically cost-
     effective to fly, ship or send mail across the Taiwan Strait.
       The establishment of direct cross-strait travel and 
     transport provides an incentive for the international 
     community to include Taiwan in regional economic arrangements 
     in East Asia. In fact, right after we inaugurated the Three 
     Links across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan was able to join the 
     Government Procurement Agreement last December, which we had 
     been unable to participate in when we became a member of the 
     World Trade Organization six years ago. This new development 
     is good news to many potential foreign investors in the U.S., 
     Japan and Europe.

  The United States interest will always be in the defense of democracy 
and in honoring our

[[Page E1035]]

commitment to the protection of democratic institutions and peoples. 
President Ma also expressed his commitment to these same principles:

       In fact, Taiwan has much to offer foreign investors. We are 
     a country with a sophisticated legal infrastructure, a 
     democratically open and stable political system and a viable 
     and liberal economy.
       We therefore want to end Taiwan's isolation from the world 
     by putting our economic relations with the Chinese mainland 
     on a more normal footing. At the same time, the more 
     contentious political issues will be left on the back burner. 
     We will put off political talks until after a firm foundation 
     for economic, cultural and educational exchanges has been 
     established and buttressed by reciprocal trust and confidence 
     on both sides.

  Strengthening the relationship between the United States and Taiwan 
is essential. This Congress must continue to remain firm in our 
commitment to Taiwan and meet our obligations under the TRA, as 
President Ma expressed:

       Undoubtedly, the resilience of the TRA and the recent 
     cross-strait detente have opened new opportunities for 
     Taiwan, the U.S. and the mainland to pave a common path 
     towards cooperation, instead of confrontation. This new 
     equilibrium can result in a win-win-win situation for all 
     sides. Obviously, America's role is pivotal. For peace 
     negotiations to continue, the United States is well advised 
     to not only reaffirm but also bolster its commitments under 
     the TRA. The newfound rapprochement with the mainland only 
     means we must with equal, if not greater, effort work to 
     fortify U.S.-Taiwan relations on the basis of mutual trust. 
     This I believe calls for an expansion of bilateral 
     interaction especially at higher levels so as to always 
     guarantee clear communication and better cooperation. 
     Furthermore, a strong commitment in U.S. arms sales and 
     support for expanding Taiwan's international space will 
     enhance our position in face of a power imbalance now rapidly 
     developing across the strait.
       Therefore, we come here today not only to commemorate a 
     historic point in cross-strait relations, but, more 
     importantly, to celebrate the endurance of Taiwan-U.S. 
     relations. The strength of the TRA is more vital and crucial 
     at this critical juncture of development than ever before. 
     U.S.-Taiwan relations, the stability of the status quo and 
     even the entire region hangs in the balance. Therefore, I 
     call on Taiwan and the United States to continue to honor the 
     commitments that have bound their destinies together in 
     common friendship and interest for the past three decades.

  Madam Speaker, it is my express hope that as we move forward from 
this 30th Anniversary, the United States and Taiwan will continue to 
recognize the importance of our shared destinies and act accordingly 
for the preservation and promotion of our shared values.