US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the most powerful supporters of Taiwan in Congress, on Thursday received one of the nation’s most prestigious honors, the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon.
Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), presented Ros-Lehtinen the award on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in a ceremony in the Representative’s office on Capitol Hill. Chen awarded her the honor in Taipei last week.
In her position as a ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and in earlier legislative positions, Ros Lehtinen has repeatedly spoken out for Taiwan and has sponsored a series of bills favorable to Taiwan.
Wu cited her efforts to gain Taiwan participation in international organizations and other forums, her position at the “forefront” of efforts to have the US sell Taiwan the arms it needs for defense and efforts to assure the US treats Taiwan better.
“If you put all this together, you cannot find any better friend of Taiwan than congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen,” he said.
Taking the award, Ros-Lehtinen said: “With a flourishing democracy and thriving economy, the people of Taiwan have much of which to be proud.”
“I have been, and will continue to be, one of Taiwan’s best friends in the Congress. And I will seek to ensure that Taiwan will continue as a beacon of democracy, shining its light directly across the strait into the very heart of Tiananmen Square,” she said.