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President Ma meets delegation from US Republican National Committee

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the afternoon of October 11 with a delegation from the US Republican National Committee (RNC) that is visiting Taiwan to offer its congratulations on the ROC's centenary. The president expressed his gratitude to the delegation for making a special trip here to celebrate with the ROC, and said he hopes that progress will be seen at an early date on Taiwan's entry into the US Visa Waiver Program and its proposal to acquire F-16C/D series fighter jets.
The president remarked that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is the first incumbent chairman of the RNC to head a delegation here in the past 15 years, making this an important milestone in two-way ties. President Ma recalled that during the US bicentennial celebrations in 1976, he was in New York and saw firsthand the tall ships enter New York Harbor. He said he deeply admires the history of the United States. The trip by the RNC delegation to Taiwan to participate in the ROC's celebrations marking its 100th birthday points to the close friendship and bonds between the ROC and the United States, he said, adding that both nations have a democratic history dating back at least a century.
President Ma mentioned that the ROC and the Republican Party maintain close and friendly relations. Article 1 of the ROC Constitution states, “The Republic of China, founded on the Three Principles of the People, shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people.” The president said that this language originates from the famous saying by President Abraham Lincoln, who was a member of the Republican Party, and highlights the importance of these principles. Also a member of the Republican Party is former President George W. Bush, who three years ago when President Ma was elected to office sent a congratulatory message that said, "Taiwan is a beacon of democracy to Asia and the world." Former President Bush recognized the ROC's democratic achievements in his statement, and he also approved sales of arms to Taiwan, President Ma remarked. Meanwhile, the ROC's ability to maintain its Twin Oaks Estate in Washington, D. C. was in part due to the assistance of Republican Party members, the president noted. All of the aforementioned developments represent the continued and steady growth of relations over the years, he said.
President Ma furthermore commented that the US Congress in 1979 passed the Taiwan Relations Act. Many Republican Party congressmen played important roles in the drafting and passage of this legislation, which has effectively safeguarded Taiwan and served as the foundation for dealings between the two countries, the president said. Former US Ambassador to mainland China Winston Lord in 2009, while on a visit to Taiwan to attend a seminar marking the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, stated that the legislation has enabled Taiwan to have the confidence and sense of security to improve cross-strait relations, thereby reducing tension in the Taiwan Strait. Former Ambassador Lord remarked that the relationship among Taiwan, the United States, and mainland China is the best it has been in the past 60 years. This commentary, the president said, proves that the policy adopted by the ROC government to improve cross-strait relations is regarded in a very positive light by the United States.
President Ma stressed that since taking office in May 2008 he has emphasized a principle of "low key, no surprises." This has enhanced mutual trust at the highest levels between the two countries and enabled both sides to communicate smoothly. He said he hopes that this close cooperation will continue in the future. The president also again urged the United States to sell Taiwan F-16C/D series fighter jets to help Taiwan develop the confidence and sense of security to further broaden the cross-strait relationship and promote the development of peace in the Taiwan Strait.
The RNC delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Thomas T.S. Cheng (鄭天授) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chih-kung Liu (劉志攻).
【Source: Office of the President】