Madam Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Taiwan for having successfully completed its 4th direct presidential election on March 22, 2008. Dr. Ma Ying-jeou, a Harvard-educated attorney and former mayor of Taipei, won with a convincing margin. I wish President-elect Ma and the people of Taiwan good luck in the next 4 years, along with continuing economic success and meaningful political reforms.
Since President-elect Ma's victory on March 22, he has made many gestures of good will, which include encouraging Beijing to start meaningful dialogue between Taiwan and Chinese mainland on the issues separating them. It is my sincere hope that both Taipei and Beijing will soon resume dialogue on the issues of mutual interest, leading to the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, President-elect Ma has indicated his willingness to strengthen Taiwan's good relations with the United States. I hope that he will be able to visit Washington before his inauguration on May 20. Even though our two countries do not have official ties, our ties are strong and growing. The issues between us and Taiwan include our defense commitments to Taiwan, trade with Taiwan, our support of Taiwan's participation in international affairs, and lifting of outdated restrictions imposed on high-ranking officials from Taiwan to visit the United States. As our friend, Taiwan wants to see us fully committed to the letter and spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act, enacted on April 10, 1979.
Again, my best wishes to President-elect Ma and the people of Taiwan.
And that's just the way it is.