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    FAPA Press release

House Armed Services Committee Members Introduce Aegis Resolution:

Sell Taiwan What It Needs  

March 20, 2001

 "The self defense of freedom loving people is in the interest of the people of the United States -- that is why I support the robust defense of Taiwan," Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) stated this morning.

Now that waves of Chinese officials hit Washington to lobby against any significant arms sales package for Taiwan, several Members of the powerful Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Rep. Andrews introduced a resolution today calling on President Bush to seek from China's leaders a public renunciation of any use of force, or threat to use force, against Taiwan and asking the Administration to “recognize Taiwan's significant defense needs and therefore approve the sale to Taiwan of advanced weapons systems that are legitimately needed for defensive purposes.

The resolution notes that April 10, 2001 is the 22nd anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act which obliges the U.S. “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.”

The Representatives also state that Taiwan's requests this year include “diesel submarines, P-3 surveillance aircraft, advanced air-launched missiles and Taiwan's coverage under the proposed Theater Missile Defense System.” They note that a recent Department of Defense review reportedly concluded that Arleigh Burke destroyers equipped with the Aegis system should be released to Taiwan.

“The Bush Administration should send a clear signal to China by telling visiting Vice Premier Qian Qichen that the United States agrees to sell the Aegis system to Taiwan. The Andrews Resolution is an important reminder by the powerful House Armed Services Committee of the fact that this sentiment is prominent in Congress,” said Dr. Wen-yen Chen, FAPA President. 

“We believe it is important that President Bush's decision be firm and unambiguous. Miscalculation of U.S. intentions led us down the path to the Gulf War. Anything less than a strong signal on Mr. Bush's part will be misconstrued by the PRC!"

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