Honorable Trent Lott
writing to request that you bring before the Senate, H.
R. 1838, the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, which the
House passed by a vote of 341-70 on February 1, 2000. We
believe that we must bring greater clarity to our relations
with Taiwan and China by passing this legislation in the
months, China has purchased Sovremenny- class destroyers
equipped with Sunburn missiles and Kilo-class submarines
equipped with evasive torpedoes. These weapon systems are
intended to deter an American defense of Taiwan. In addition,
China has and continues to deploy short and medium range
ballistic missiles across from Taiwan.
military developments have been matched by indications of
an intent to use force against Taiwan. China has consistently
refused to renounce the use of force against Taiwan and
has even dramatically lowered its justification for a use
of force to include Taiwan's refusal to negotiate reunification.
In this context, Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji threatened
Taiwanese voters against choosing a pro-independence leader
in Taiwan's March 18, 2000 presidential election. We believe
that China's threats will only increase as Taiwan progresses
down the path of democracy.
a recent study by the Department of Defense indicated that
the Taiwanese military faces a multitude of problems stemming
form technological shortcomings, including an inability
to adequately defend against air attacks, ballistic missiles,
and cruise missiles. These deficiencies can be attributed,
at least in part, to the military's isolation.
Taiwan Security Enhancement Act will underscore U. S. support
for Taiwan by increasing military exchanges with Taiwan,
by establishing a direct military communications link with
Taiwan, and by reestablishing Congress as a consultant in
the annual arms sales process, as intended and required
by the Taiwan Relations Act. We believe that these provisions
will correct some of the inadequacies of the Taiwanese military
and bring greater security to the people of Taiwan.
urge you to take the necessary steps to ascertain support
in the Senate for the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act and
to call up this legislation at the earliest possible date,
before the Senate votes on matters relating to China.
you for your attention to this matter.
Tim Hutchinson (R-AR)
Robert Torricelli (D-NJ)
Frank Murkowski (R-AK)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Slade Gorton (R-WA)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Bob Smith (R-NH)
John Ashcroft (R-MO)