IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Marc Thiessen
April 17, 2000 Phone: (202) 224-4651
BLASTS REPORTED PLANS TO DENY TAIWAN DEFENSE REQUESTS
D.C. -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse
Helms issued the following statement today:
am extremely disappointed to learn that the Pentagon has
apparently succumbed to pressure from the State Department
and the White House to sacrifice Taiwan's security in order
to appease the dictators in Beijing.
months, we in Congress were led by Defense Department officials
to believe that the Pentagon was leading the fight to sell
Aegis destroyers to Taiwan. Now we learn that they are doing
no such thing. Moreover, we are learning that the Pentagon
has apparently backed off its earlier commitment to provide
Taiwan with urgently-needed early warning radars, recommending
a delay until Taiwan can prove that it can integrate the
radar into its system.
adds insult to injury. Any problems Taiwan's military would
face integrating these systems would stem from no fault
of its own, but rather from 20 years of the isolation the
United States has imposed on Taiwan. This Administration
has sunk to a new low indeed when they don't even have the
courage to fulfill a commitment to sell a civil defense
item to Taiwan for fear of offending Communist China.
is, quite simply, no military justification to deny Taiwan
these crucial defensive items. These denials are driven
by knee-jerk appeasement on the part of the White House
and the State Department.
the Pentagon will not stand up for Taiwan, then it is clear
Congress will have to take action. If the Administration
follows through on these recommendations, and denies Taiwan
these critical defensive items, then the time will have
come for the Senate to join the House in passing the Taiwan
Security Enhancement Act.
politicized handling of Taiwan's defense request -- and
the utter failure of this Administration to consult with
Congress -- is a clear demonstration why the Taiwan Security
Enhancement Act is so urgently needed."