Fri, Oct 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

US politicians support visa-waiver plan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Taiwan caucus in both houses of the US Congress have formally contacted President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) expressing support for including Taiwan in the US visa-waiver program, the Web site of the American Visa Bureau shows.

Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達), director--general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of North American Affairs, confirmed the information yesterday.

Linghu said that Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the US House of Representatives, has also sent a personal letter to the -Taiwanese government indicating her support for their bid to join the program.

Letters sent from the Senate Taiwan Caucus — signed by senators Robert Menendez and James Inhofe — and the Congressional Taiwan Caucus in the House of Representatives — signed by representatives Shelley Berkely, Phil Gingrey, Mario Diaz-Balart and Gerald Connolly — also praised Taiwan for recent economic and social reforms and improved relations with China, the Web site said.

The letters of support added that the US would continue to supply arms to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, it said.

Linghu said that the letters were among many that expressed congratulations on Taiwan’s celebrations for the Republic of China centennial.

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled “Why Taiwan Matters” on Oct. 4, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said that Taiwan’s application for inclusion in the program is continuing to “head toward the finish line” and progress will be in sight in the very near term.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specializing in helping people with their ESTA visa application.

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