URGE PRESIDENT BUSH
SELL AEGIS TO TAIWAN
in Taiwan, two Republican Members of the House of Representatives
wrote a letter to President Bush on April 19, 2001 urging
the President to sell Aegis destroyers to Taiwan.
letter, Reps. Bob Schaffer (R-CO) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
conclude: "We urge you to support Taiwan in its effort
to defend itself by approving the sale of the Aegis system,
in addition to other sophisticated defenses, including ballistic
missile defenses and submarines.[...] Anything less than
the approval of the sale of Aegis to Taiwan will jeopardize
the strategic balance the United States has committed to
maintaining in the region. [...] An independent Taiwan bolsters
the cause of freedom around the world and provides stability
to countries such as Indonesia struggling for their own
systems of democracy."
Representatives write: "Contrary to your advisors,
the U.S. Navy has recommended the sale of Aegis to Taiwan
and the Department of Defense has concluded the Taiwanese
have the ability to operate and integrate the complex system."
President Wen-yen Chen Ph.D. states: "Some of Taiwan’s
friends in the U.S. Congress believe that the excuse that
Taiwan allegedly does not possess the technical ability
to deal with Aegis now is in no way a reason to deny approval
of the sales. We at FAPA agree with that notion. How can
Taiwan have that capability already? We agree with the Members
of Congress who believe it is the job of the U.S. to make
sure that Taiwan GETS the technical ability. And eight or
nine years is plenty of time to do so."
Chen states: "The battle over the Aegis sales to Taiwan
is not over. Far from it. "It ain’t over till it’s
over," as the American saying goes. Every day the
current stand-off over the EP-3 plane in Hainan lasts longer,
the chance that the U.S. will sell Aegis to Taiwan grows
Chen concludes: "It goes without saying that it would
be a major boost for Taiwan’s self-defense capability if
the United States decides to sell Aegis to Taiwan next week.
But let’s not forget that enhancing Taiwan’s self-defense
capability is also in the interest of the United States.
We completely agree with the Chairman of the House Armed
Services Committee who stated last week that: "If
we do not provide Taiwan with the system today, the day
might come that we will have to help Taiwan defend itself,
just like we did in March 1996." The Aegis sale
to Taiwan can prevent history from repeating itself."
* * * * *
of the United States
Honorable George W. Bush
of the United States
Pennsylvanian Avenue, DC 20502
Wednesday, the Asian and American press reported your foreign
policy advisors have recommended against the sale of sophisticat4ed
Aegis destroyers to Taiwan. It has also been reported your
decision is expected by Tuesday April 24. We strongly urge
you to approve the sale.
from Taiwan, we are concluding the final days in a week-long
series of high-level meetings in Taipei. We have met with
Taiwan’s president, vice president, defense minister, legislators
and other national leaders. Taiwan’s legitimate need for
U.S. destroyers equipped with the Aegis radar and weapons
system if urgent. In fact, these naval-based defense systems
top the Taiwanese wish list.
problem lies with china, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway
province. Beijing is rattling its saber again, threatening
U.S.-China relations will suffer further damage if the sale
is made. We say the greater risk is to leave Taiwan’s democracy
unnecessarily vulnerable to aggression of any sort.
its repossession of Hong Kong, China has made it clear that
Taiwan is next on the menu. If the United States stands
by as Beijing has its way with this important democracy,
we abandon our credibility in the region. With Taiwan under
its belt, China would gain the equivalent of an unsinkable
aircraft carrier – as well as a permanent blockade to halt
shipments of oil and raw materials destined for our allies,
if China were to gain Taiwan’s industrial and technological
might, along with its wealth, the Chinese would be the greatest
economic power in Asia, with the ability to strangle America’s
high tech industry. That is why so much is at stake in the
sale of these destroyers.
destroyers – with their advanced radar, integrated battle
management, and surface-to-air missiles – will provide Taiwan
with improved detection and protection against a ballistic
missile attack. Satellite imagery has shown china has massed
between 300 and 400 short range ballistic missiles against
Taiwan, and is expanding that cache by 50 more missiles
destroyers will also strengthen Taiwan’s air and naval defenses,
making the island democracy a force worthy of China’s respect.
to your advisors, the U.S. Navy has recommended the sale
of Aegis to Taiwan and the Department of Defense has concluded
the Taiwanese have the ability to operate and integrate
the complex system.
truth is, this sale is about more than standing firm in
the face of recent Chinese aggression. It is about maintaining
balance and security in the Fare East. It is about maintaining
U.S. credibility with our Asian allies. It is about honoring
our promise under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act by which
the United States agreed to sell Taiwan the weapons needed
to maintain an adequate self-defense.
more to the point, a free Taiwan capable of defending itself
is clearly in the interests of the United States, as well
as our Asian partners. Japan, with its democratic government
and the world’s second largest economy, sees Taiwan as critical
to its defense. Taiwan also serves as a shield to South
Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.
the best reason to stand beside Taiwan at this critical
juncture and authorize this sale is the fact it will strengthen
the island’s vibrant democracy and free-market system. An
independent Taiwan bolsters the cause of freedom around
the world and provides stability to countries such as Indonesia
struggling for their own systems of democracy.
recent Chinese downing of an unarmed U.S. reconnaissance
aircraft in international airspace and detainment of 24
American crewmen remind us China will seize any opportunity
to flex its muscle. Make no mistake: China’s accelerated
arms buildup is directed against both Taiwan and the United
States. Another example is the 1998 military exercise in
which the Chinese simulated missile firings against Taiwan
and, for the first time, conducted mock attacks on U.S.
troops in the region.
your administration, this is a critical moment o truth.
China’s increasingly aggressive actions argue strongly for
a determined U.S. response to restore balance in the Far
East beginning with Taiwan. Put bluntly, the Chinese are
a threat to peace and stability throughout Asia. We have
held a close relationship with Taiwan for more than 50 years;
we must stand beside our friends now, when they need us
you to support Taiwan in its effort to defend itself by
approving the sale of the Aegis system, in addition to other
sophisticated defenses, including ballistic defenses and
submarines. If we are to avoid escalated conflict with China,
America must take this opportunity to show Beijing and the
world we are as committed to the causes of maintaining peace
and supporting democracy as we are increasing trade.
less than the approval of the sale of Aegis to Taiwan will
jeopardize the strategic balance the United States has committed
to maintaining in the region. Worse would be the message
of weakness conveyed. Now is not the time to go wobbly.
of Congress of Maryland
Member of Congress of Colorado