They first gathered at the East side of the Capitol building, where a a bi-partisan group of a dozen members of Congress addressed the assembled crowd, expressing their support for a free, democratic, and independent Taiwan, and the island's membership in international organizations, such as the United Nations, the WHO, and the WTO.
They were welcomed by Professor Chen Wen-yen, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), who said in his statement, that Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans wanted to send a signal to President Clinton and to both Houses of Congress that during President Clinton's visit to Beijing, the US should not sacrifice the welfare and future of the 21 million people of Taiwan.
In his remarks, keynote speaker Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) vowed Congress' unwavering support for democracy in Taiwan and the right of self-determination of the people of Taiwan. He also stated that Taiwan should join the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations.
Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed his intent to bring his resolution in support of World Health Organization membership for Taiwan to the floor of the House.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the international community must not isolate Taiwan, and that the improvement of U.S.-China relations must never take place at the expense of the people of Taiwan or Taiwan's future as a free, democratic and independent nation.
Congresswoman Mary Bono (R-CA) expressed her strong support for Taiwan's full and equal membership in the international community, and urged Mr. Clinton not to sell out Taiwan.
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) stated: "We insist that President Clinton call on the Chinese government to renounce the use of force against Taiwan. We insist that he call on China to stop blocking Taiwan's participation in international organizations. The future of Taiwan should be determined by the people of Taiwan, not by the PRC."
Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) spoke eloquently of U.S. relations with Taiwan as a "test of our American national integrity." he said: "There will be a free and independent Taiwan. There will be diplomatic relations between the U.S. and a free and independent Taiwan. We stand for Taiwan to be present in the United Nations as a free and independent nation."
Representative Linda Smith (R-WA) stated: "Rest reassured, this Congress is committed to ensuring that Taiwan's future is resolved by peaceful and uncoercive means. Our commitment to Taiwan remains as strong as ever."
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) said: "Our President needs to get the message that we will not sell out Taiwan to the PRC. We will protect Taiwan, and we will not allow Chinese agression."
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) emphasized that U.S. foreign policy should be based on American values and not be dictated by China. He said: "When President Clinton goes to Beijing, his message should be clear: Hands off Taiwan."
Other speakers included Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Dana Rorabacher (R-CA), Peter Deutsch (D-FL), and Rob Portman (R-OH).
Taiwanese legislators in front of the U.S. Capitol
Young supporters of Taiwan independence
"Don't sell out Taiwan"
The crowd then wound its way around the Capitol to Constitution Avenue, and from there along Pennsylvania Avenue to Lafayette Park in front of the White House. Along the way, they chanted "One Taiwan, One China", "China, hands off Taiwan", "Stand up for Taiwan", "Recognize Taiwan, Taiwan Independence", and "Don't sell out Taiwan."
Down Pennsylvania Avenue
With babystrollers ...
... and in wheelchairs
In front of the White House, more speeches were held, by leading members of the Taiwanese-American community and by five members of the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan, who had come over to Washington to express their concern to the Clinton Administration and to Congress about China's continuing threats and intimidation against Taiwan and its attempts to isolate Taiwan from the international community.
"Recognize Taiwan sovereignty"
Young Taiwan independence supporter in front of the White House
Legislator Lee Ying-yuan addressing the crowd
Independence supporter at Lafayette park
"China, hands off Taiwan"
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Last updated on 24 June 1998