Washington, D.C. – Tonight, at the Twin Oaks estate, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) will commemorate Taiwan National Day.

Below are Chairman Royce’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):

“Da jia hao!

What an auspicious day. It is not only the Mid-Autumn Festival today, but I am also delighted to be here with all of you to celebrate Double Ten day at the beautiful Twin Oaks estate.  This historic property is the physical centerpiece in Washington of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and this event is one of my favorite events in Washington every year.

In fact, I am proud of the critical role the U.S. Congress played in 1979 to help safeguard Twin Oaks, and define in statute the continuing nature of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The Taiwan Relations Act, which made it possible for Taipei to protect its property rights in this country, remains the foundation for our relationship—allowing our two peoples, who share commitments to democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental human freedoms, the ability to forge new areas of cooperation to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

Today, Taiwan is a beacon of hope in the Asia-Pacific region, and our shared values that form the foundation of our long-standing friendship.  America’s commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are steadfast and unwavering. 

As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have made Taiwan a top priority in my leadership agenda, and together we’ve worked on many important issues that are vital to Taiwan’s economic and diplomatic future. 

I led a five Member bipartisan delegation to Taiwan last month to reaffirm the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. We had the honor of meeting with President Tsai, and to visit a Perry Class frigate being readied for service near Kaoshiung.  Seeing this decommissioned U.S. ship finally in Taiwan was very special for me, because in 2013 I authored and passed into law the legislation that made the vessel transfer possible.

Last week, I pressed the Director General of the World Health Organization to allow for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly, and also passed legislation out of my committee which counters the harmful and unacceptable efforts being made to undermine Taiwan’s inclusion.  Infectious disease knows no borders, and no one benefits when Taiwan is kept in the dark on critical matters like global health.

Both the U.S. and Taiwan stand to gain from a strong commercial and trade relationship.  Our mutual prosperity is certainly a priority for me, and I am happy to report that over the weekend, I attended the ceremony where China Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding with Ontario Airport in California to start direct flights between Taoyuan to Ontario, California.   

I know all of you will enjoy more options for air travel between Taiwan and the U.S.  Having that Ontario to Taipei route will allow families and businesses to reduce cost of transportation by adding more flexibility in this popular route.  And, just as importantly, it will help create more economic opportunities in the same way that Taiwan’s entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver program has increased air travel between Taiwan and the U.S. by 50 percent!  I was honored to help in that effort, and now, we’re closer than ever to bringing direct flights to Ontario.  

Congratulations on your National Day, and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.  Now I’m ready to eat some moon cake!”