Representatives Introduces Resolution Calling For Lifting Of All Restrictions On Taiwan Hi-Level Visits

On July 23, co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a resolution (HCR481) calling for the complete lifting of all restrictions on high-level visits from Taiwan. The resolution concludes: “That it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should lift all restrictions on visits by high level officials of Taiwan to the United States.”

And “it is in the national interests of the United States to communicate directly with democratically elected and appointed officials of Taiwan, including the democratically elected president of Taiwan.”

On April 21, Rep. Chabot stated in a Congressional hearing: “I had lunch in the Capitol a few weeks ago with Mr. Mark Chen, then a legislator. Today Mr. Chen is Taiwan’s new foreign minister […] and can no longer come to our Capitol on an official visit. Frankly I think that that policy is kind of silly.”

On July 15, ranking member of the House International Relations Committee, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), echoed that sentiment when he stated: “Mr. Speaker, it was a great pleasure for me to host Taiwan’s Vice President, Annette Lu, during a recent visit to San Francisco. It is my fondest hope that Congress will have the honor of greeting both President Chen and Vice President Lu in Washington in the foreseeable future.”

Despite this, the United States continues to cling to its long-held policy prohibiting high ranking Taiwan leaders -including the president- from visiting Washington DC. Not only does this policy widen the communication gap between Taiwan and the United States, but it denies Taiwan’s democratically elected officials the respect they deserve.

FAPA president Ming-chi Wu states: “We ask that the U.S. lift all restrictions on high-level visits by officials from Taiwan, so that a balanced understanding of both sides of the Taiwan Strait will be directly available to Congress, the Administration and the American public. And on a more personal level: we Taiwanese Americans want to see our democratically elected president Chen Shui-bian be treated and greeted with the respect his office deserves. Other non-elected leaders from around the world visit the White House. It is only fair that the same honor and recognition gets bestowed upon President Chen.”

 

美國會休會前夕引進決議案,再度要求取消台灣高層訪美限制

在美國國會暑期休會前夕,兩位台灣連線的共同主席夏波議員(Steve Chabot-R, OH)和布朗議員(Sherrod Brown –D-OH)聯手提出第481號決議案─要求美國完全取消台灣高層官員訪問的不合理限制。這是繼上週四眾院以壓倒性票數通過第462號決議案,指出美台雙方高層互訪不違一中政策後,此一議題再度在國會被提案,認為美國應該對鬆綁對台灣高層訪美的限制。

在決議案中指出:台灣身為美國對外貿易第七大國家,在亞洲經濟扮演舉足輕重的角色;台灣順應民主潮流,發展政治政黨制度,有最公平和自由的選舉,舉行過三次由台灣人民直選的總統選舉。但是由兩千兩百萬人民選出的台灣總統陳水扁,卻長期受限無法和美國的官員見面或討論有關共同關切問題或雙方國家利益。

夏波議員曾在4月21日的國會聽證會中表示:「幾個禮拜前,我有機會在國會與陳唐山先生共進午餐,當時他是台灣的立法委員;現在他已經是台灣的外交部長,卻無法再到國會進行官方的正式拜會。坦白說,我認為這個政策實在很糊塗。」

7月15日,民主黨資深議員藍托斯也為此一限制請命,他說:「最近我很榮幸的在舊金山招待過境來訪的台灣副總統呂秀蓮女士,事實上,我最大的期望是不久的未來,美國國會能夠在華盛頓首都歡迎台灣的陳、呂總統兩人。」

除此之外,美國緊抓著長期且不合時宜的政策,限制著台灣高層官員的訪問─尤其是到華盛頓首都,這不僅加深美國和台灣兩國溝通的鴻溝,並且也間接否定了台灣對民主的努力或對民選總統所應得的尊敬。

FAPA會長吳明基指出:我們長期要求美國政府取消對台灣高層官員訪美的限制,就是希望美國政會、國會和一般大眾,對台灣海峽的問題有直接和平衡的瞭解。此外,我們在美國台美人,也希望經由民主競爭過程和人民直接選舉出來的台灣總統,能夠受到他應該要有的尊嚴和禮遇,就如同美國對待其他的國家領袖一般。我們不是要有差別待遇,我們的要求是非常公平和自然的,這也是陳水扁總統理所當然應得到的。

(July 24, 2004) Representatives Introduces Resolution Calling For Lifting Of All Restrictions On Taiwan Hi-Level Visits / 美國會休會前夕引進決議案,再度要求取消台灣高層訪美限制