Jesse Helms Opening Statement for
Hearing on the Taiwan Security Enhancement
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I extend our
welcome to our distinguished witness this morning.
Baucus, Assistant Secretary Roth, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Campbell, our private panelists- we are genuinely grateful
for your coming to discuss the important topic of the United
States' defense relationship with Taiwan.
our purpose is to examine the bill S. 693, the Taiwan Security
Enhancement Act, which Senator Torrcelli and I introduced
back in March.
legislation will ensure that Taiwan will have the essential
self-defense capabilities. To accomplish this we propose
to bolster the process for defense sales to Taiwan, and
help Taiwan achieve and maintain an adequate military readiness.
need to enhance our defense relationship with Taiwan is
the reunification of Taiwan has become an increasingly high
agitation issue for Beijing, now that they have reabsorbed
Hong Kong and, as of this coming December, Macau.
Beijing constantly demonstrates a willingness to use intimidation
to achieve its goal. China fired missiles off Taiwan's
coast in 1995 and 1996, and is now engaged in a massive
missile buildup opposite Taiwan, according to the February
199 Pentagon report to Congress. Beijing is also undergoing
a multifaceted military building which includes increased
emphasis on logistical improvements for Taiwan scenarios.
adds to this buildup the ugly, threatening rhetoric aimed
at Taiwan by the highest levels of the Chinese government
recently, one can see the very real threat that Taiwan faces.
part of Beijing's strategy is to continued its pressure
on the U.S. to limit or cease arm sales to Taiwan.
This has had effect at various times on successive U.S.
administrations. Of course, it was the Reagan administration
that signed the regrettable 1982 Communiqué, which
set a ceiling on arms sales to Taiwan and promised China
that we would gradually reduce these sales.
the years, the United States has refused to sell Taiwan
needed defense items such as submarines and AMRAAM missiles
solely to assuage China.
just two weeks ago, the Clinton administration withheld
several arm sale notifications to Congress and is reported
to be considering further such measures in an obvious attempt
to curry favor with Beijing and punish Taiwan for President
Lee's recent Remark on Taiwan's status.
our friends in Taiwan have a military capability that has
operated in virtual isolation for over twenty years.
Taiwan's military does not conduct joint exercise with ours
and it's not even able to observe many of our exercises.
No U.S. officers above the rank of colonel or Navy captain
can go to Taiwan and those who do are limited in the things
they can say and do. This has certainly had a corrosive
effect on Taiwan's military preparedness, at exactly the
time Taiwan faces a growing military threat from China.
united State's strategic interests, United States law and
United States moral values dictate that we assist our long
-time friends on Taiwan in meeting these challenges and
that is why Senator and I introduced this bill.
forward to hearing from our distinguished witnesses.