May 14, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) received the medal of the Order of Brilliant Star, first class, from Dr. Joseph Chao-hsieh Wu, representative to the United States for Taiwan, on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan. Inhofe, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Taiwan Caucus with Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), was given the award for his efforts to promote US-Taiwan relations.
“I am honored to receive this award and thank President Chen Shui-bian and Dr. Joseph Chao-hsieu for this recognition,” Senator Inhofe said. “The importance of the relationship between Taiwan and the United States cannot be overstated. It has benefited both our countries for over half a century and will continue to centuries to come.
“I look forward to working together with Taiwan to ensure it remains a strong and active participant with the international community and continues its close relationship with the United States,” Inhofe said. “We must continue advocating for Taiwan to become an equal and active participant in the international community by obtaining membership with International Organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.” Senators Inhofe and Johnson recently wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice requesting renewed efforts to secure a meaningful role for Taiwan at the annual World Health Assembly beginning on May 19th.
“Taiwan must also possess a military capable of defending itself and I will continue to work with Taiwan in developing their defense capabilities, such as acquiring the most advanced export version of our F-16 fighter aircraft.”
Senator Inhofe also took the opportunity to congratulate President-elect Ma Ying-jeau on his recent victory in Taiwan’s presidential elections. “Taiwan is one of the strongest democratic partners of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and serves as model of democracy and freedom. I wish President-elect Ma Ying-jeau a successful administration and look forward to continuing the close relationship our countries currently share.”
The Order of Brilliant Star was first instituted in 1941, and is given for outstanding contributions to national development for a civilian.