God Bless the Republic of China on Taiwan

God Bless the Republic of China on Taiwan

Yeah, I called it that. It is a Republic in its truest form, and it is in China. Sorry.

I am wildly proud of our four lawmakers who set foot on the Republic of China on Taiwan on Friday to extend a hand friendship to President Tsai Ing-wen on behalf of our nation. Though I identify as a Republican and they were mostly Democrats, it matters not. Taiwan matters. Her freedom-loving people matter. And I am very proud of those members of Congress who bravely and openly defied the Communist Chinese by paying a call on our behalf. (Seriously, the Chinese embassy threatened our lawmakers?)

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I have been waiting to write this column for a long time.

It was 1999. My boss David Keene and I were having coffee at Misha’s in Old Town Alexandria, as we often did. David’s Taiwan ties went back to Chiang Kai-shek—literally—and the organization I was in charge of, The American Conservative Union, was considered a loyal and true friend of the Republic.

The inauguration of Chen Shui-bian, or as David called it, “the first peaceful transition of Chinese power in 5000 years,” was nigh. Lee Tung-hui, the Kuomintang stalwart and economist who was the first president to be born on Taiwan and the first to be directly elected, was stepping aside.

“Well, let’s go!,” I said. Keene, puffing on his pipe, thought a minute and said, “Yeah.”

So he introduced me to a friend at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the United States (Communist China doesn’t allow us to call it an embassy, though it is in Washington…whatever) to arrange the visit. My new friend at the Embassy (I’ll call it that, happily) was pleased to invite us—an American delegation—to their presidential inaugural events. Bonus: Because “Dr. Keene,” as they insisted on calling him (he’s not a doctor), was a part of our motley crew, they also invited us to visit the outgoing President Lee. In this very room.

So one day we sat with the outgoing president, and the next day we sat with the newly sworn-in president.

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An aside: The night before the inauguration we were invited to a “reception for foreign dignitaries” at the Taipei Guest House—an extraordinarily beautiful place where they, of course, house visiting foreign dignitaries. Three strange things happened that night: 1) Rich Lowry, my old friend from New York, wandered by (we both said DUDE! at the same time). 2) I ended up mildly wasted at the open bar with a member of the British House of Commons, whom I convinced to give me a shout-out in the form of “BANJO!” at Prime Minister’s Question Time (he did! He yelled Banjo! It was on CSPAN!). 3) Are you ready for this? At the same bar, I turned to my left and whom did I see but Lech Walesa. He looked remarkably like my stepdad from back in the day, so I did a double-take. But it was Lech, not Dick. We hoisted beers. And let me tell you this: Lech Walesa will drink your ass under the table, OK?

So to my point. I was nearly moved to tears by our Taiwanese hosts and their incredible hospitality. And I was, in fact, moved to tears by the most beautiful place  I have ever seen in my life—the Taroko National Forest, which our hosts flew us to see. Taiwan is a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people. Though they live in a general state of fear (we were watching for missiles at Chen’s inaugural. Seriously), there is a palpable joy in the air. My visit there was a transformative experience. I left without any doubt of the evils of the communist regime. And the fear that these good people live under. And without any doubt whatsoever that we must stand firm on our pledge to defend the Republic of China on Taiwan.

C’mon, man.

This article originally appeared in PJ Media. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.