Hutchinson Criticizes Secretive Taiwan Arms Sales Process
Tim Hutchinson today responded to reports that the Clinton
Administration has denied several key defense articles requested
must give every consideration to shoring up Taiwan's defenses
at this new and critical juncture in Taiwan's democratic
development. Unfortunately, the Administration has
followed a two-pronged approach in determining U. S. arms
sales to Taiwan - rewarding threats from Beijing and keeping
Congress out of the process - both in violation of the Taiwan
denying crucial defensive items, the Administration is sending
the wrong signal to Beijing - that intimidation will limit
the type and quantity of arms the U. S. sells to Taiwan
for its defense. At the same time, denying Aegis destroyers,
which the Taiwanese military considers critical to its security,
is a vote of no confidence in U. S. support for Taiwan."
have little confidence in this Administration's plan to
delay consideration of defensive items pending a Pentagon
report on Taiwan's naval defense needs. The Pentagon
has already refused to provide Congress with an existing
report on Taiwan's air defense needs."
has already been kept in the dark for too long, This
Administration should expect Congress to reassert itself
in the arms sales process by passing the Taiwan Security
Enhancement Act or other legislation, to restore the intent
of the Taiwan Relations Act."
week, Senator Hutchinson and twelve colleagues sent a letter
to Majority Leader Trent Lott, requesting Senate action
on the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. Senator Lott
has placed the legislation on the calendar.