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   Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA)

Rep. Sherrod Brown's Remarks during the
HR 1838 full committee Markup

Mr. Chairman,

While I am pleased this Committee is considering legislation to better enable the people of Taiwan to defend themselves from outside aggression, I think we all recognize that the long-term solution to solving this problem is not whether we give them more bombs or more tanks or more missiles.

After all, Taiwan already has the best security guarantee in the world, that of course being the U.S. 7th Fleet, our horde of
intercontinental bombers, and the 7,000 or so nuclear warheads at our disposal.

Because regardless of how many times the White House tells China's dictators it respects the so-called One China policy, the reality is that the Taiwan Relations Act -- the law of the land -- requires us to come to Taiwan's aid if it is attacked by China.  So no matter how many threats that the PRC makes, no matter how many missiles it places across the strait from Taiwan, or no matter how many ships or planes it buys from Russia, the simple fact is that a Chinese attack against Taiwan would be the same thing as attacking the United States.

And despite all of the rhetoric we hear about China' growing military capacity, I think we would be hard-pressed to find one person in this room that realistically thinks that in it's current state China has the political, technological, and industrial capacity to successfully wage a war against our forces in the Taiwan Strait.  However, this is not to say that one day China will not be able to conquer Taiwan, nor is it any excuse for the PRC's poor behavior toward its neighbor.  Because if we keep telling China's dictators that we support their claim to Taiwan, if we keep telling them that it's okay not to renounce using force against Taiwan, then we're creating a monster.

For these reasons I support H.R. 1838.  However, Mr. Chairman while I appreciate the effort that you and ranking member Gejdenson, Mr. Bereuter and Mr. Lantos have put into this legislation, I think we know all know that the best way to help Taiwan is not reaffirming our commitment it's security or instructing the White House to give it ships and missiles.   If we really
want to guarantee the long-term health and security of Taiwan, and the thousands of our servicemen and women that are serving in East Asia, then we need to recognize the obvious and quit alienating Taiwan from the international community because China says that it is not a state.  The fact is that never for one day has the PRC exercised any control over Taiwan, nor should it.  Taiwan's 22 million people have built a thriving prosperous democracy that respects the rule of law and the human and political freedoms of its people.  Taiwan's economy is one of the most advanced in the world, and by every measure should qualify that nation for membership in the World Trade Organization.

Moreover, Taiwanese doctors are some world's finest physicians, yet they are denied membership in what I think is the most beneficial international outfit, the World Health Organization, which exists so that every nation can share medical expertise and eradicate disease like smallpox and polio.  Despite all of Taiwan's qualifications for statehood, despite the reality that it's people don't want to live under the autocratic rule of China's communist masters, we still can't bring ourselves to face the obvious -- not because we don't think that Taiwan deserves to be a state, but because we're too scared of offending the sensibilities of a bunch of dictators that quite frankly have exhibited nothing but contempt for internationally recognized human and political rights and have shown nothing but utter disregard for the rule of law.

Until China begins showing us that it intends to move into the family of nations, until it demonstrates that it can be trusted to stop
acting like a scoundrel, until it can do these simple tasks we shouldn't keep telling it's dictators that they have a right to determine Taiwan's future -- because only the people of Taiwan -- and no one else have that right -- and as the world's oldest democracy we need to respect their freedom and liberty.   With that I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1838, but I also urge
you join me in throwing the One China policy on the scrap heap of similar Cold War ideals and quit affording China's dictators more rights than we do to our sister democracy in Taiwan.

 

 
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