Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Congressmen want Taiwanese marines to join US in Iraq

CNA , WASHINGTON

Two pro-Taiwan US House members introduced a resolution on Thursday calling for US President George W. Bush to ask Taiwan to deploy marines to Iraq.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher, co-chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and Republican Representative Jim Ryun, also a member of the Taiwan Caucus, said in the resolution that Taiwan is studying the feasibility of sending up to 5,000 marines to Iraq to fight alongside the US-led coalition.

As a fellow democracy, the resolution said, Taiwan shares the US' passion for promoting freedom, democracy and human rights around the world; and its marines have a deserved reputation throughout the Far East for their high level of training and motivation.

Since the US is requesting other countries to send ground forces to Iraq to join coalition forces in the global war on terrorism, US President George W. Bush should "request Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to deploy Taiwanese marines to Iraq," said the resolution, which has been referred to the House Committee on International Relations for debate.

Ryun, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also introduced a draft amendment to a national defense authorization act for next year that considerably raises the level of military exchanges between the US and Taiwan.

Presidential Office spokesman James Huang (黃志芳) declined yesterday to comment on the proposal.

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