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2    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois is proud of the sister-state
3relationship it has enjoyed with the Republic of China (Taiwan)
4since 1992, which has been consolidated by strong bilateral
5trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges, and further boosted by
6the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and a
7commitment to the rule of law; and
8    WHEREAS, Taiwan is the world's 19th-largest economy, the
9United States' 9th-largest trading partner, and Illinois'
1019th-largest export market; Taiwan has consistently imported
11between US$2.5-$3 billion annually worth of United States farm
12products and ranks as one of the world's top consumers
13per-capita of United States agricultural goods; the Illinois
14economy has greatly benefited from Taiwan's reliable imports of
15Illinois farm products, which in 2015 were worth US$275.7
16million for agricultural products and US$43.8 million for food
17manufactures, together comprising at least 50.4% of Illinois'
18total exports to Taiwan last year; in 2015, Illinois ranked
19eighth among all U.S. states in the value of its overall
20exports to Taiwan, worth US$634 million; and
21    WHEREAS, On January 16, 2016, Taiwan held its sixth direct
22presidential election, once again demonstrating the maturity
23and strength of its democratic system, which has long been



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1commended as a beacon of democracy for Chinese-based societies;
3    WHEREAS, Taiwan ranks as the world's 14th-freest economy,
4the fifth-freest economy in the Asia-Pacific region, the
511th-most competitive economy worldwide, and the third-most
6competitive economy in the Asia-Pacific region; Taiwan should
7be entitled to contribute to greater regional economic
8integration in the Asia-Pacific region in order to further
9promote bilateral investment and trade relations with its Asian
10neighbors, as well as with the United States; and
11    WHEREAS, Negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement
12between Taiwan and the United States are an important step
13toward further strengthening bilateral trade and paving the way
14for entering into a free trade agreement between our two
15countries, thereby increasing Illinois' exports to Taiwan and
16creating bilateral investment and technical collaboration
17through tariff reduction and other trade facilitation
18measures; and
19    WHEREAS, Taiwan, as a full-fledged democracy that shares
20the same values of freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule
21of law, peace, and prosperity with the United States and the
22State of Illinois, should be allowed to participate
23appropriately in international organizations in order to



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1advance the welfare of the 23 million people of Taiwan and
2further contribute Taiwan's unique experience and expertise to
3the international community; therefore, be it
6commend and support Taiwan's mature and vibrant democracy and
7celebrate the 24th anniversary of sister-state relations and
8the deepening sister-city relationships between Taiwan and the
9State of Illinois; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our continued support for
11Taiwan's efforts to contribute to greater regional integration
12through economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and
13further promote bilateral investment and trade relations with
14the United States; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our continued endorsement of the
16signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and
17the United States to promote Taiwan's bilateral investment and
18trade relations with the United States and to facilitate its
19economic and other ties with Illinois and the individual
20states; and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our support for Taiwan's
22participation in international organizations that impact the



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1health, safety, and well-being of Taiwanese citizens and that
2contribute to the global community; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
4presented to United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry,
5the members of the Illinois congressional delegation, and the
6Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.