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   Helms Ridicules claims of "Robust" U.S. Defense Package for Taiwan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Marc Thiessen

HELMS RIDICULES CLAIMS OF "ROBUST" U.S. DEFENSE PACKAGE FOR TAIWAN- Says Administration Refused 5 of 6 Items Taipei Requested

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms issued the following statement today:

Yesterday’s decisions on defense sales to Taiwan were wholly inadequate. The administration would have us believe that they approved a robust package for Taiwan, but in fact, only one of Taiwan’s six major requests, the Maverick missile, was approved. And given the Orwellian spin the administration is putting on the long-range early warning radars, in which repeating last year’s deal is being touted as a new agreement, why should the American people be confident that the Maverick sale will ever take place?

"Similar deja vu surrounds the AMRAAM announcement. The training package announced yesterday was also announced in April 1999. Moreover, the notion of selling the missiles to Taiwan, but not letting them take possession of them, is an insult. What is Taiwan to do, call FedEx for its AMRAAMs after China attacks?

The American people’s gullibility is likewise assumed with the so-called maritime assessment. The air defense assessment of 1999 argued for providing Aegis systems to Taiwan but the Clinton Administration has refused to provide them. Why should the American people believe the maritime assessment’s recommendations won’t also be sent to the circular file as well?

As with its failure to consult Congress on this matter, the Clinton administration has once again flagrantly violated the Taiwan Relations Act by giving Beijing a veto over Taiwan’s defense requests."

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