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TAIWAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Page S3621]
                     TAIWAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, on Sunday, the 20th of May, Taiwan 
marked the second inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou. Since its 
first direct presidential elections in 1996, Taiwan's democracy has 
emerged as model for the rest of the Asia Pacific region. Over these 16 
years, power has changed hands twice between Taiwan's two largest 
political parties, demonstrating for the world the rapid maturation of 
its democracy and the commitment of its people to exercising their 
democratic freedoms. I rise today to congratulate President Ma on his 
inauguration, and note Taiwan's remarkable history as a kindred 
democracy, key partner in security and trade, and great friend of the 
United States.
  I take deep pride in the partnership between the United States and 
the people of Taiwan, which is rooted in shared values, shared 
interests, and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future. 
For more than 6 decades, the United States has stood with Taiwan as it 
has transformed into a prosperous free market democracy.
  Just as the United States has supported Taiwan, so too has Taiwan 
been a great friend to America. Taiwan is among America's top trading 
partners. Moreover, time and time again from the Korean War, to the 
Vietnam War, to our continued security cooperation today Taiwan has 
stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States. I am deeply grateful 
to the people of Taiwan for their contributions to our shared security 
and prosperity.
  Looking to the future, I hope and believe that President Ma's second 
inauguration will mark another milestone in the deepening relationship 
between the United States and Taiwan. For all of our progress, we still 
have a big agenda ahead.
  It is past time for us to remove the barriers to trade between the 
U.S. and Taiwan and negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan. We 
must also ensure that the people of Taiwan are secure, so they can 
continue to decide their future for themselves. That, in turn, means 
the United States should take common-sense steps to deepen our security 
ties with Taiwan and support Taiwan in acquiring the weapons it needs 
and has requested. As the United States focuses increasingly on the 
Asia-Pacific region, the Obama Administration must do more to make 
Taiwan an integral part of our broader strategy to uphold the balance 
of power in this critical part of the world as a way to maintain peace.
  In closing, I again congratulate President Ma on his inauguration and 
thank Taiwan's people for their decades of friendship.

                          ____________________




    

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