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September 19, 2017

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US Congress members back Taiwan TPP bid

TAIPEI--Some 10 members of the United States Congress have pledged support and assistance for Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration and for stronger U.S.-Taiwan economic relations when speaking to President Ma Ying-jeou on the phone, officials said Thursday.

During a 24-hour layover in Los Angeles on his way back from Central America, Ma used every available minute to speak with 20 current and former U.S. politicians by phone, members of Ma's delegation said.

Among the people Ma spoke to were former President Bill Clinton, former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

In his conversations with 10 members of Congress, the 63-year-old president expressed Taiwan's determination and willingness to participate in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to the officials.

Many U.S. Congress members showed support and promised to fully assist Taiwan's bid to join the TPP, they added.

The U.S. members of Congress Ma called included Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY).

Ma returned to Taiwan early Thursday after visiting Sao Tome and Principe, Burkina Faso in Africa, and Honduras for the inauguration of President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Jan. 27. It was Ma's ninth overseas trip since he took office in 2008.

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