Congressman Faleomavaega, who serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, announced today that he is visiting Taiwan from February 20-23, 2012 as a guest of President Ma Ying-jeou, who won re-election in January 2012.
“President Ma has strong support in the U.S. Congress and in the Obama Administration, and I am honored to meet with him upon his re-election to discuss ways in which we can continue to move his agenda forward in Washington,” Faleomavaega said. “President Ma was first elected to office in 2008, and I met him before he ever served as President, back when he was one of many candidates.”
“I knew then what I know now. President Ma is the right man for the right times. Since his election in 2008, U.S.-Taiwan relations have been far better than any period in recent memory and this is why the Obama Administration has shown clear support for the Ma Administration by more than doubling the Bush’s Administration’s arms sales to Taiwan. The Obama Administration has also sent high-level officials from the U.S. to Taiwan and, most recently, the Obama Administration nominated Taiwan for inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP).”
“The people of Taiwan have also shown strong support for President Ma and his policies. As a result of President Ma’s policy to reduce tensions in Cross-Strait relations, there are now 558 direct flights from cities in Taiwan to cities in China every week. China-bound investments have been relaxed, and business is good for both the Taiwanese and Chinese people.”
“Improved Cross-Strait relations have also been in the best interest of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Neither Washington nor Beijing wants to go to war over Taiwan. What the U.S. expects is the advancement of regional peace, and this has been best achieved by President Ma and his policy of rapprochement which upholds our shared values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”
“I am proud of the work President Ma is doing for and on behalf of the people of Taiwan, and also for the U.S. It is believed that visa-waiver treatment will not only benefit Taiwanese travelers, but will also create much needed job opportunities here in the United States. In fact, tourism revenue may increase by an estimated $1.8 billion due to U.S.-Taiwan cooperation on visa-waiver treatment.”
“I am confident that U.S. relations with Taiwan will grow even stronger during President Ma’s administration and that we will see marked progress in the areas of trade, science and technology, and educational exchanges. I stand prepared to help in whatever way I can to support these initiatives, including Taiwan’s further participation in international agencies. At a time when U.S.-Taiwan relations are moving forward like never before, I commend President Ma for a job well-done, and offer my best wishes for his continued success,” Faleomavaega concluded.