Wednesday, February 2, 2000
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.
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.
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.