The Dialogue of Democracies: Today and Next January

The Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC) and a thirty-five Member strong Taiwan Legislative Yuan (LY) delegation meeting of July 23rd marks a distinctive “dialogue of democracies” meant to further understanding between the oldest democracy and one of the newest members of the democracy club.

The LY delegation, the largest ever to visit the United States, came to Washington to thank the CTC members for their strong support, to discuss matters of mutual interest, and to publicly announce a January 2003 International Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Asian Pacific Security, to be held in Taipei.

The CTC expressed its thanks for the Taiwanese delegation’s invitation to the conference and will actively participate in this event.

The CTC, established on April 9th, now has 112 members.  It is one of the largest and fastest growing caucuses in the United States Congress.  Today’s luncheon is the first such big gathering for the caucus members, among those participating are Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY), the ex-chairman of the House International Relations Committee, and the Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman, Rep. Eddie Burnice Johnson (D-TX).

“At this important juncture in history, today’s meeting has helped strengthen the bonds between the US and Taiwan,” stated Dr. Wu Ming-chi, FAPA President. “Strong bonds between democracies are clearly the backbone of a serious anti-terrorism campaign.  The Taipei conference will extend this mutually supportive network throughout the Pacific region.  The interests of the U.S., Taiwan and all the democracies in the Pacific are well served by today’s meeting and will be served by the January conference.

“The conference next January aims to create dialogue among the countries involved,” Wu continued, “enhance understanding and communications, and thus diminish conflicts in the region.  Moreover, FAPA believes that next January’s conference will give Taiwan an excellent opportunity to fulfill its proactive diplomatic strategy in the face of the PRC’s diplomatic blockade and will ultimately show the world Taiwan’s willingness and sincerity in maintaining the stability and security of the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

“台美國會首度最大規模對話,並允諾明年一月台北見!

美國國會台灣連線(Congressional Taiwan Caucus)在今日(23日)舉行自4月9日正式成立以來最大規模的活動。為了感謝台灣連線對台灣的支持,台灣立法院特地組團,由蔡同榮委員率領三十多位立法委員們到華府親自拜訪台灣連線,展開這個歷史上首次台美國會對等實體的交流對話。

 目前已有112位議員參加的台灣連線,人數已逾眾議院的四分之一,堪稱是美國國會裡數一數二大的連線團體。深暗美國國會運作的人士便知道,台灣連線不僅人數眾多,每個月不定期都有不同的議題,以喚起社會大眾以及決策當局對於一些仍然不合理的美國對台政策的認識與支持。這個有史以來最大規模的台灣立院訪問團,也將利用今日二十三日的國會午宴,親自與台灣連線的多位成員面對面,除了表達他們的感謝之意,兩者也將就各項台美議題交換意見。最重要的是,台灣立院將利用此行來尋求台灣連線的支持。目前台灣立院正在積極籌劃,預計邀請亞太地區各國國會議員,在明年一月於台北召開亞太區域安全研討會。台灣連線已允諾來訪的台灣立委們對於這個會議的大力支持,並將積極主動地參與;他們也表示很榮幸地能獲得台灣立院的邀請,參加這個歷史性的會議。

 在參加國會午宴的數十位眾議員中,包括了即將退休的重量級議員,也是前國際關係委員會主席吉爾曼(Ben Gilman, R-NY),台灣連線主席們認為在國會如此繁忙的行程中,今日能仍有這麼高的出席率,他們都感到相當地高興。

 大力推動台灣連線成立的台灣人公共事務會(FAPA)表示,台灣與美國因同為民主國家而使得兩國的情誼比過去更加地深厚,而誠如台美兩國這種民主國家之間的情誼與聯盟,正是美國目前全球反恐戰爭的基礎骨幹。FAPA會長吳明基表示,今日的會面是美國台灣連線與台灣立院的台美國會聯誼會,兩個對等的實體,首次舉辦如此大規模的交流與對話;不過,更令我們期待的是明年一月份在台北舉行的區域論壇,屆時將有來自各國的民意代表,就亞太區域安全進行多方對話。這不僅是一個首創之舉,更是一個值得鼓勵的舉動。因為,維持亞太區域的安全與穩定是台灣,美國,以及鄰近各國的利益,而這樣的會議旨在創造彼此的對話,增加各國之間的溝通機會,以促進相互之間的瞭解,進而減少誤解及衝突。更重要的是,FAPA相信,這樣的舉動,是台灣主動外交出擊的最佳機會,讓國際社會瞭解台灣對於維持亞太安全與穩定的誠意與善意!

(July 23, 2002) The Dialogue of Democracies: Today and Next January / “台美國會首度最大規模對話,並允諾明年一月台北見!”