NEEDS TO ARM TAIWAN (Extension of Remarks - June 22, 2000)
BOB BARR in the House of Representatives (6/22/00)
THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, JUNE 12, 2000]
story broke in the Taiwan press on May 25: The Communist
Chinese military started live-fire artillery exercises for
six days near the closest output maintained by the free
Chinese, who recently inaugurated a new president who adheres
to pro-free enterprise, anti-Communist policies.
does the Clinton administration do? Next to nothing.
same week, an unnamed top Clinton official with the National
Security Council even said it was a mistake for the United
States to issue a visa to new President Chen Chui-bian's
predecessor so he could attend a reunion at his U.S. alma
mater. Just before that insulting declaration, the Clinton
administration decided against selling four Aegis destroyers
to Taiwan . (It did, however, approve the sale of long-ranger
radar designed to detect missile launches.)
if the anti-Communist island can't defend itself, radar
doesn't do much except perhaps tell them to duck. What Taiwan's
tough-but-small military needs are missiles of their own
to scare off the mainland from any attack.
to a recent classified Pentagon report leaked to the Washington
Post, Taiwan is far more vulnerable to invasion from the
Communist Beijing government than was previously known.
The island's military technology has fallen behind Beijing's,
particularly in the area of defending itself from air and
the May 20 inauguration of Chen, and his appointment of
a hard-line anti-Communist from the previous ruling party
as defense minister, the Red Chinese military has been rattling
its saber even more frequently. Yet President Clinton is
still reluctant to sell military equipment to the island.
reluctance, and the administration's pro-Beijing slant,
is thankfully drawing the attention of Congress, which is
naturally concerned that the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act is
being ignored. That legislation requires that all arms-sale
decisions must be based solely on Taiwan's defense needs.
light of the Pentagon report and current Chinese military
provocations, those defense needs have never been greater.
bipartisan block in Congress has drawn up new legislation,
the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. Among other things,
this legislation would order the executive branch to explain
whenever it rejects, postpones or changes a military request
from Taiwan .
bill was introduced because key lawmakers of both parties
value the island as a loyal ally and key trading partner.
Taiwan deserves entry into the World Trade Organization,
as does Mainland China, especially since Taiwan is free,
open, and democratic.
can Americans who live in a country that is the self-proclaimed
`leader of the free world' ever abandon a free country to
dictatorship? At the very least, the people's representatives
in the legislative branch of our government can hold the
executive branch to account when it comes to defensive armaments