Sun, Nov 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Congressmen call for Bush to make a stop in Taiwan

CNA , WASHINGTON

Two pro-Taiwan members of the US House of Representatives proposed that President George W. Bush take advantage of his current trip to Asia to visit Taiwan as a token of US recognition of the island's outstanding achievements in promoting freedom and democracy.

Representatives Tomas Tancredo and Robert Simmons, both Republicans, made the appeal in a joint letter dated Nov. 15 to Bush, who is attending the 2005 APEC informal leadership summit in Busan, South Korea.

Arms purchase

The congressmen said in the letter that if Bush were to make a brief visit to Taiwan following the summit, he would be able to meet with Taiwan's leader to lay an emphasis on the importance of arms procurement for the country's future, in addition to reaffirming US commitment to a free and democratic Taiwan.

Tancredo told a reporter that Bush is devoted to promoting freedom and democracy around the world, so he should visit Taiwan, one of the US' staunchest allies in Asia.

For his part, Simmons said Taiwan is an emerging Asian democratic country and worthy of a visit by Bush, since stepping up democracy and freedom is the priority agenda of his Asian trip.

Symbolic

Meanwhile, Wu Ming-chi (吳明基), chairman of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, said that although the joint letter will not cause Bush to change his itinerary, it has "great symbolic significance" for Taiwan.

Noting that Bush had cited Taiwan's freedom, democracy and prosperity in a keynote speech delivered in Kyoto, Japan, Wu said the Bush administration should take concrete action to conduct direct contact and talks with Taiwan's government.

Following this weekend's summit, Bush is scheduled to travel to Beijing, where he will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), and then visit Mongolia before winding up his week-long trip.

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