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   Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA)

Reassurance for Taiwan

A Boston Herald editorial
Wednesday, February 2, 2000

On March 18, Taiwan will hold its second direct presidential election. In the next few days, the U.S. House will take up the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act- legislation that’s essential to assure the island remains free and democratic.
In its present version, the act requires the secretary of defense to establish direct communications with Taiwan’s military and to report to Congress regularly on security threats in the Taiwan Straits.

The measure would also increase joint training operations and allow more Taiwanese officers to attend U.S. military academies.  A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington warns that the legislation “will bring about serious damage” to U.S.-Chinese relations.  Of course, China never imagines that anything it does could damage those relations. If Beijing steals U.S. nuclear secrets, interferes in American campaigns, brutally suppresses dissent within and openly threatens its neighbor and our ally Taiwan- it can’t conceive of this causing resentment or anxiety here.

China needs the cold dose of reality contained in the bill. The Clinton administration, whose coddling of the communists has convinced them that they can get away with anything, also needs a wake-up call. And the people of Taiwan need to be reassured that, under democratic principles, they will be allowed to determine their future.

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