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Taiwanese American Heritage Week

Washington, 5 May 2000

From May 7th through May 14th, the Taiwanese- American community is celebrating Taiwanese-American Heritage Week.

In Taipei, President-elect Chen Shui-bian, recognized the extraordinary achievements of Taiwanese Americans. He stated in a proclamation issued on 4 May 2000: "from business to the arts, from academia to high tech. You are the pride of all Taiwanese people. I also want to thank you for being willing to come back to contribute your expertise for a better, more modern Taiwan."

"It is because of your efforts over the years to seek U.S. guarantees of support for Taiwan and for peace in the Taiwan Strait that full democratic reform and a peaceful transition of power could take place in Taiwan," Chen added. "We especially recognize the immense support Taiwan has received from the U.S. Congress as due to your long-term efforts to establish close ties with Members of Congress. In the future, my government will need even more support and effort from you in order to enhance and upgrade U.S.-Taiwan relations."

In Washington, President William Clinton sent a greeting to those about to observe Taiwanese American Heritage Week, in which he stated:"Throughout our nation¹s history, Americans have drawn strength, hope, and inspiration from their ethnic heritage."

"Our ancestors came from every corner of the world, bringing the myriad cultures, experiences, and beliefs that shape our nation today. A vibrant part of that legacy, the people and culture of Taiwan have made invaluable contributions to every sector of our society."

Acknowledging Taiwanese Americans as successful and notable artists, Nobel Laureate scientists, researchers, human rights activists, and business leaders, Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-CO) went on to also celebrate the success of democracy on Taiwan. "While Taiwan has established a model democracy, there remain political challenges. Gaining worldwide recognition of the legitimacy of Taiwan's government is paramount. With all that Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans have accomplished, there can be no complete satisfaction until Taiwan's status and global contributions are respected and appreciated."

"Pacific American Heritage Month is a perfect opportunity to highlight the tremendous accomplishment of the Taiwanese community," stated Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), "and its strong sense of civic virtue and social responsibility."

"Taiwanese Americans are extremely proud of their heritage," Professor Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President said, "and also extremely proud of the full flowering of democracy in our native land. We believe it is in the best interests of both the United States and Taiwan to support democratic Taiwan as it seeks to take its seat as an equal member of the community of nations."

The Taiwanese Association of America, Greater Washington Chapter, will hold a special "Fun Fair" as part of the Taiwanese American Heritage celebration on Saturday, 20 May 2000, from noon to 6:00 PM at the Sylvan Theater ground, the southeast corner of the Washington Monument. Festivities will include a Taiwanese puppet show, native dances and folk arts, and lots of good food! Other TAAs across the country will also hold celebrations.

For more information, contact the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) at 202-547-3686.