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    Letter from Senators to the President

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
March 1, 2000

The Honorable William J. Clinton
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
 

Dear Mr. President:

 We are writing to express our concern regarding an appropriate US government response to recent statements and actions by the People’s Republic of China with regard to Taiwan.

 The timing and substance of the recent “white paper” issued by Beijing with respect to the Taiwan situation suggests a disregard for US concerns about human rights, peace and stability in East Asia.

 Many of us are prepared to work in the months ahead with those who seek to advance the important US-PRC trade relationship.  Our mutual objectives will be seriously imperiled, however, if the Beijing authorities believe they have a free hand to forcibly repatriate the free and democratic people of Taiwan.

 It is the law of the land that the US will, under the Taiwan Relations Act, furnish appropriate defensive equipment to Taiwan, and the Congress will be fully and currently informed of Taiwan’s defense needs.  The Administration’s failure to satisfy these requirements has spurred House passage by a 341-70 margin of the remedial Taiwan Security Enhancement Act.

 We believe US obligations require the Administration to act promptly on Taiwan’s pending request for appropriate weapons systems, particularly defensive land and sea-based early warning systems, the provision of which will advance US security objectives while deterring those in Beijing who would dangerously misread the US desire to be cooperative on trade and other bilateral issues.

 A continued failure by the Administration to live up to its binding legal obligations on these issues, and to furnish to Congress reports required by law regarding the military situation in the Taiwan Straits, could well imperil our common objectives here in the Senate.

Sincerely,

Senator Frank H. Murkowski (signed)
Senator Trent Lott (signed)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison(signed)


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