101st National Day Remarks
Thank you for joining us tonight in celebration of the 101st National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Every year, we share this happy moment with our precious friends in Florida. I am fortunate, so are my colleagues, to serve my country in such a beautiful state where its people do know and do care about Taiwan. To that end, I am more than happy to update you on the progress we are making and the direction Taiwan is heading for.
Most recently, actually just three days ago, the American government officially announced the designation of Taiwan into its visa waiver program. Starting from November 1, the ROC nationals holding E-passport to visit the United States for the purpose of business or tourism, can stay up to 90 days visa free. I must say, this is the best birthday gift for Taiwan.
On behalf of my government, I would like to thank the Congressional leaders from Florida including Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Diaz-Balart, Congressman Deutch and Congressman Rivera for their staunch support to the VWP case; Also to Mayor Regalado who openly endorsed VWP for Taiwan last year during his visit there. In return, I am expecting to see more Taiwanese visitors come to Miami and Disney World, to further strengthen the dynamic business and cultural exchanges.
Expanding visa-waiver countries from 54 to 129 is a miniature of President Ma ying-jeou’s diplomatic success. By pursuing a policy of viable diplomacy that emphasized dignity, autonomy, pragmatism and flexibility, Taiwan has attended the World Health Assembly since 2009 as an observer after 38 years of isolation from the UN system; In September, President envoy Lian Chan and Secretary Hillary Clinton held bilateral talks at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, laying the ground for a new round of trade talks between our two nations.
But there are also challenges ahead of us. In light of the escalating dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, we are willing to play a constructive role among the neighboring countries. As a forward-looker, President Ma proposed The East China Sea Peace Initiative on August 5, 2012, calling on all parties concerned to
At the junction of the pacific major powers, Taiwan is endeavoring to be a peace maker for the Diaoyutai controversy. We consistently claimed our sovereignty over the islands; however, we welcome all the parties concerned, to set aside sovereignty dispute and jointly engage in developing resources, making the East China Sea ‘a sea of peace and cooperation.’
Ladies and Gentlemen, the 101 years’ history of the Republic of China taught us how important it is to coexist peacefully with the neighboring countries, and to ally with Justice. Taiwan is ready to share more international responsibilities for democracy, for regional cooperation, and for a peaceful East Asia. To achieve these goals, we know we can count on the United States as you can count on us. Together, the benefit of all peoples can be promoted.