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   Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA)

On May 18, 1999 The Taiwan Security Enhancement Act "To assist in the enhancement of the security of Taiwan, and for other purposes" (HR1838) was introduced by the following Members of the House of Representatives:

Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), Dan Burton (R-IN), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chris Cox (R-CA), Merrill Cook (R-UT), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Tom DeLay (R-TX), Peter Deutsch (D-FL), William Jefferson (D-LA),  David Wu (D-OR), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Nita Lowey (D-NY).

The bill is aimed at increasing US support for enhancing Taiwan's defense capabilities.

According to Bob Sutter -senior specialist in international politics, foreign affairs and defense at the Congressional Research Service- "the Act will effectively deal with the situation in which the security of Taiwan is threatened due to the imbalance of military power across the Taiwan Straits."

The Act fills many of the voids that the U.S. congress left when it passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979. It provides for a cohesive set of defensive measures, and it specifically states that "Any determination of the ultimate status of Taiwan must have the express consent of the people of Taiwan."

When introducing the bill, Majority Whip Tom DeLay stated on the floor of the House of Representatives: "This bill gives Taiwan a fighting chance to defend itself from a potential invasion. The Act honors our commitment to stability in Taiwan by increasing cooperation between U.S. and Taiwanese militaries, and increasing sales of defensive technology and weaponry while prohibiting reductions in arms sales. We must honor our commitments in the Taiwan Strait. I urge all of my colleagues to support the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act!"

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