of S. 693 - A bill to assist in the enhancement of the security
of Taiwan, and for other purposes.
to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
24, 1999, a bi-partisan group of Senators introduced the
"Taiwan Security Enhancement Act." This bill is to ensure
that the United States is fulfilling its obligations to
Taiwan as specified by the Taiwan Relations Act. The bill
also points out in its findings that "Any determination
of the ultimate status of Taiwan must have the express consent
of the people on Taiwan." A House version was introduced
on May 18, 1999.
3(a) and 3(b) of the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States
is obliged to provide defensive arms to Taiwan based
solely upon the judgment of the United States regarding
Taiwan's needs, not upon Beijing's opinion or reaction.
Although the Taiwan Relations Act has worked reasonably
well for the last 20 years, but recent trends of the Chinese
military build-up disclose the need for efforts by the United
States to be stepped up to fill the voids left in the Taiwan
the Pentagon report entitled "The Security Situation in
the Taiwan Straits" submitted to the Congress, it stated
that China has been and will continue to deploy a large
number of missiles directly across the strait from Taiwan
. In fact, according to media reports, China already has
more than 150 such missiles aimed at Taiwan and plans to
increase the number to 650 during the next few years.
Pentagon report also makes clear that China's vast quantitative
edge over Taiwan in naval and air power, coupled with China's
ongoing modernization drive, will prove overwhelming in
any sort of military confrontation. The Pentagon report
concludes that Taiwan's future success in deterring Chinese
aggression will be "dependent on its continued acquisition
of modern arms, technology and equipment and its ability
to deal with a number of systemic problems' such as logistics.
China's threatening military buildup, the U.S. Congress
expresses its position that it is high time to begin a discussion
of whether the United States ought to be doing more in the
way of exchanges in training and planning with Taiwan's
military. The Taiwan military has operated in virtual
isolation for 20 years, and this has certainly contributed
to some of the systemic problems alluded to in the Pentagon
to Dr. 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."