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   Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA)



WASHINGTON (October 27) - U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th-NY), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, released the following statement today as the committee began consideration of H.R. 1838, the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act:

"I am pleased to bring this measure before the Committee today for consideration and I want to thank the Majority Whip, Mr. DeLay of Texas, for introducing this legislation.

"Along with other members of this body, I am increasingly concerned about China's security policy and military modernization efforts including its burgeoning missile deployments opposite Taiwan; the purchase of advanced Russian fighters and submarines; Beijing's outright refusal to renounce the use of force against Taiwan; its increasingly aggressive rhetoric; and the detrimental effect all of this has on regional stability.

"We are also troubled by the Clinton Administration's handling of Taiwan policy in general including the pressure it has unwisely placed on Taipei to come to interim agreements with China regarding unification; its unwillingness to sell some defensive weapon systems to Taiwan irrespective of China's military advances; its talk of a æstrategic partnership' with Beijing; the Three No's; and the consequences these misguided actions have for peace and stability in the region.

"The United States should continue to steadfastly meet its security commitments to Taipei as
stipulated in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. This means assisting Taiwan in maintaining the balance of power across the Taiwan Strait in the face of the PRC's unprecedented military build-up. A failure to meet Taiwan's legitimate defense needs will make China's military dominance of the Taiwan Strait a reality. This would not be a welcome development in that part of the world.

"A failure to provide for Taiwan's legitimate defense needs could lead to Beijing's misunderstanding of American interests; foster perceptions of Taiwanese defense vulnerability; increase the likelihood of Chinese miscalculation; and ultimately lead to conflict with the our nation over its adventurism. Ensuring and enhancing Taiwan's ability to defend itself increases
the prospects for continued peace and stability in Northeast Asia and supports U.S. national interests.

"The Congress, in the absence of decisive Administration action, must act to make clear to Beijing that the our nation will continue its long-standing commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue. I therefore support this legislation's efforts to enhance Taiwan's self-defense capability. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation. It has an impressive array of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. I look forward to bringing it to the floor for consideration at an early date."

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