DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen's remarks at Capitol Hill

Below are the remarks made by DPP Chair and Presidential Candidate Tsai Ing-wen at the US Capitol Hill Reception on Sept. 14, 2011.

I am honored to be here in the US Congress, among all of you who are such good friends of Taiwan. I want to especially thank the Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Howard Berman, for so graciously welcoming my delegation.

Thanks, also, to Bob Yang, FAPA president, for his organization’s hard work to make this reception a success and to Representative Jason Yuan and TECRO as well.

We are a young democracy in Taiwan. We look to you because of your rich history and the many struggles you have been through to craft a strong nation, one united in its commitment to democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

There are two US documents that everyone in Taiwan knows: the Declaration of Independence with its ringing “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and that unique piece of legislation, the Taiwan Relations Act. Thanks to the security provisions of the TRA, provisions that Congress insisted on, as well as to our own efforts at home, my country has been secure through these many years. We Taiwanese cannot thank you enough for this support and for all the current efforts being made by so many Members to insure that the United States keeps its commitments to the security of Taiwan. I want to express a special thanks to all of you for your recent efforts to support the arms sales to Taiwan that are urgently needed.

However, I want to underscore that section of the TRA that often gets overlooked: Sec. 2 (c) which states: 
(c) Nothing contained in this Act shall contravene the interest of the United States in human rights, especially with respect to the human rights of all the approximately eighteen million inhabitants of Taiwan. The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States.

We fought hard to establish ourselves as a viable democracy, fighting for during almost 40 years of martial law for the rights we all hold so dear. My party, the Democratic Progressive Party, believes that today we need to engage in a national dialogue to develop a full “Taiwan consensus”, a democratic process to form a basis for cross-strait talks and discussions with any and all others as equal partners.

We need your continued assistance to insure that we remain a free people, a people for whom all options for the future remain open and whose human rights remain inviolate.

We pledge to stand with the United States as a good friend and willing ally in the long project of bringing democracy, justice and human rights to all nations of this world of ours.