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   Dear Colleague Letter from the Black Caucus


January 28, 2000

Dear Colleague:

HR 1838 - the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act is scheduled for a floor vote on Tuesday, February 1st. As cosponsors of this bill and members of the Committee on International Relations, we are contacting you as fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus to urge your favorable vote on this important legislation.

According to a Pentagon report to Congress earlier this year, China is engaged in a major buildup of ballistic missiles on its coast directly across the strait from Taiwan. Beijing is simultaneously increasing pressure on the U.S. to limit or cease our sales to Taiwan of defensive weaponry.

We strongly believe that the United States must remain steadfast firmly committed to fulfilling our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act - in which the U.S. promised to provide Taiwan with the means to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability - to maintain a balance of power in the region.

Toward this end, the bi-partisan Gilman Gejdenson amendment in the nature of a substitute of the “Taiwan Security Enhancement Act” was passed overwhelmingly by the House International Relations Committee on October 26 with 32 to 6 votes. The bill has four main thrusts:

(1) It enables Taiwan to maintain its self-defense capabilities;

(2) It states that any determination of the ultimate status of Taiwan must have the express consent of the people on Taiwan;

(3) It requires an annual Presidential report to Congress on Taiwan’s defense needs;

(4) It redresses deficiencies in Taiwan’s readiness by establishing direct communications between our militaries.

The bill currently has 82 cosponsors.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have questions, please contact Faith Blackburn of my staff at 5-3461.

With best regards, we are


Rep. Gregory W. Meeks
Rep. Donald M. Payne

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