Members of US Congress laud ROC on Double 10th, encourage signing of BIA


TAIPEI–Nine members of the U.S. Congress have issued statements or certificates congratulating the Republic of China (Taiwan) on its 102nd National Day on Oct. 10, with some saying that Taiwan and the U.S. should sign a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) as soon as possible given Taiwan’s importance to the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region. Some U.S. Congress members also proposed that Taiwan should be included in the regional trade grouping, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and that Taiwan and the U.S. should strengthen mutual visits by Cabinet members.

In response, King Pu-tsung, Taiwan’s chief representative to the U. S., expressed his heart-felt gratitude to those U.S. members of Congress for the congratulations they extended and their support on important issues related to Taiwan and the U.S. at a time when the U.S. Congress and the White House were busy dealing with the budget and debt ceiling issues.

While the R.O.C. was celebrating its Double Ten National Day in Taiwan on Thursday, the R.O.C.’s representative office in the United States held a formal cocktail reception at its Twin Oaks Estate in Washington D.C. in celebration of National Day.

Twelve members of Congress who are friendly toward Taiwan were in attendance, including U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The representative office said that 25 members of the U.S. Congress have extended National Day congratulations to Taiwan and expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in the TPP and the signing of an investment agreement between the two countries, including Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the United States House of Representatives.

Royce said in his statement that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region and that he is excited that as a direct result of bipartisan efforts in Congress, Taiwan has finally been invited to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) this year.

“The U.S. enjoys a very positive and productive economic relationship with Taiwan … I urge the Administration to quickly finish the ongoing U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement negotiations and move on to a broader, more comprehensive Bilateral Investment Agreement with Taiwan,” Royce said in the statement.

Some members of Congress also said that since Taiwan plays an important role in the world and as a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, it should be included in the TPP. Other members who issued congratulatory statements include Bill Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and John Conyers, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.