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  FAPA Press Release: Legislation introduced to mandate annual briefing on arms sales to Taiwan

 

For Immediate Release
Contact Iris Ho
 

November 18, 2009

SENIOR HOUSE MEMBERS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION RE. ARMS SALES FOR TAIWAN - Resolution Seeks to Reinvigorate Congressional Oversight on Defense Consultation

(Washington) – In an attempt to pressure the Obama administration to expedite a decision on F-16C/Ds sale and notify Congress of the remainder of the defense services and articles for Taiwan that were approved by the Bush administration, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), along with Taiwan caucus co-chairs, Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Mike Ross (D-AK), Dan Burton (R-IN) and Walter Minnick (D-ID) introduced H.R. 4102 this afternoon, requiring the administration to provide detailed briefings to Congress on U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.

The bill, if passed, would “mandate briefings no later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and at least annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall provide detailed briefings to Congress on (1) any discussions conducted between any executive branch agency and the Government of Taiwan; (2) any potential transfer of defense articles or defense services to the Government of Taiwan.”

FAPA President Bob Yang says, “The introduction of the resolution today is most timely as Taiwan supporters are disturbed by President Obama’s statements in China in regards to Taiwan. President Obama’s omission of the Taiwan Relations Act while stating that the U.S. respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity through the three joint communiqués is likely to embolden China to press even harder her spurious claim over Taiwan. Such statements seriously undermine U.S. legitimacy to continue providing defense articles and services to Taiwan as codified in the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8) and compromise the strategic interests of not only Taiwan but also of the U.S. in the region.”

Yang continues, “For the past few years, members of Congress have been expressing strong concern about the stalemate in U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Their repeated appeals to the administration went unheeded. Annual briefings, as mandated by this bill, will reassert Congress' prerogative to co-determine with the President the nature and the quantity of the defense articles and services for Taiwan, as stated in Section 3(b) of the Taiwan Relations Act.”

 

 

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美資深眾議員提出對台軍售法案,重拾美國國會軍售諮商監督權


為了施壓歐巴馬政府儘快就出售台灣F-16一事作出決定,以及儘快通知美國國國會數項布希政府已通過的相關軍售,眾議院外交委員會副主席蘿斯列敦娜(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL)與台灣連線三位共同主席柏克莉(Shelley Berkley, D-NV)、金格瑞(Phil Gingrey, R-GA)、迪亞斯巴拉特(Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-FL),以及眾議員羅依斯(Ed Royce, R-CA)、羅斯(Mike Ross, D-AK)、柏頓(Dan Burton, R-IN)與明尼克(Walt Minnick, D-ID),特於今日下午提出第4102號議案,要求行政部門向國會詳細報告對台軍售事宜。

 

此項法案如果正式通過,將要求美國國務卿與國防部長相磋商,在法案通過90天之內,以及往後每年向國會就台灣政府與行政部門之間的討論,以及未來可能的對台軍售進行詳細簡報。

 

FAPA會長楊英育表示:「這項法案在今天正式提出,是再適當也不過的時機,因為許多台灣支持者對歐巴馬總統在中國發表的聲明感到不安。歐巴馬總統在美中共同聲明中提及美國透過三項公報尊重中國的主權與領土完整,卻未提及台灣關係法,將有可能導致中國得寸進尺,強化中國擁有台灣主權的荒謬立場。這樣的聲明嚴重損及台灣關係法裡美國有權提供台灣防衛武器的正當性,更影響到台灣與美國在當地的戰略利益。蘿斯列敦娜議員今天提出的法案與與她去年第6646號議案相類似。我們尤其支持她今年這項法案中提到行政部門對台軍售的國會簡報必須年年實行。」

 

楊英育接著表示:「過去幾年來,部份國會議員多次強烈關切美國對台軍售一再遭到擱置。他們的關心與訴求很可惜的並未受到行政部門的採納。正因如此,今天這項法案裡特別制訂年度簡報的要求,這正是美國國會意欲重拾主導權,以符合台灣關係法第三條(b)項條文規定,由行政部門與國會共同決定對台軍售的質與量。」

 

 

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111TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

H. R. 4102

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

To require the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to provide detailed briefings to Congress on any recent discussions conducted between United States Government and the Government of Taiwan and any potential transfer of defense articles or
defense services to the Government of Taiwan, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:

(1) Relations between the United States and Taiwan are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act
(22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.; Public Law 96–8), three joint communiques, and the Six Assurances.

(2) The Taiwan Relations Act has governed United States arms sales to Taiwan since 1979, when the United States extended diplomatic recognition to the People's Republic of China.

(3) The Taiwan Relations Act specifies that it is United States policy, among other things, to consider any nonpeaceful means to determine Taiwan's future ‘‘a threat'' to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and of ‘‘grave concern'' to the United States, ‘‘to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character'', and ‘‘to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion'' jeopardizing the security or social or economic system of Taiwan's people.

(4) Section 3(a) of the Taiwan Relations Act states that ‘‘the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability."

(5) Section 3(b) of the Taiwan Relations Act stipulates that both the President and the Congress
shall determine the nature and quantity of such defense articles and services ‘‘based solely'' upon their judgment of the needs of Taiwan.

(6) Taiwan in March 2009 issued its first Quadrennial Defense Review, a robust, defense-oriented strategy that aims to shape the regional security environment and deter conflict while transforming the military into a leaner, more efficient fighting force with sustainable capabilities, thereby helping to demonstrate that Taiwan has the resolve and commitment to successfully strengthen its own defenses.

(7) According to the Congressional Research Service, the executive branch has yet to send any
arms transfer notifications to Congress for Taiwan during calendar year 2009, including notifications for Blackhawk helicopters, diesel submarine design, and additional Patriot PAC-3 systems, nor has it yet transferred the OSPREY class minehunter coastal ships ORIOLE (MHC-55) and FALCON (MHC-59), even though Congress authorized the sale of these ships in calendar 2008 in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–229).

(8) Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has reiterated his administration's desire to acquire United States built F-16 C/Ds and other weapons on many public occasions, including in an April 22 address to the United States by teleconference to mark the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and a statement issued during a May 26 transit stop in the United States on his way to Central America for a diplomatic visit.

(9) Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou also stated on October 2, 2009, that ‘‘Although there are
pragmatic improvements in cross-strait ties, this doesn't mean we can let our guard down."

(10) As highlighted in the March 2009 Department of Defense annual report to Congress on China's military, ‘‘China's armed forces are rapidly developing coercive capabilities. . . [that] could in the future be used to pressure Taiwan toward a settlement of the cross-Strait dispute on Beijing's terms while simultaneously attempting to deter, delay, or deny any possible U.S. support for the island in case of conflict."

SEC. 2. MANDATORY CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFINGS.

(a) BRIEFINGS.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and at least annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall provide detailed briefings to Congress on—

(1) any discussions conducted between any executive branch agency and the Government of Taiwan during the covered period; and

(2) any potential transfer of defense articles or defense services to the Government of Taiwan.

(b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) COVERED PERIOD.—The term ‘‘covered period'' means, with respect to—

(A) the initial briefing required under subsection (a), the period beginning on the date of
the enactment of this Act and ending on the date of such initial briefing; and

(B) subsequent briefings required under such subsection, the period beginning on the day after the date of the most recent briefing and ending on the date of any such subsequent briefing.

(2) EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCY.—The term ‘‘executive branch agency'' has the meaning given the term ‘‘agency'' in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.

(3) DEFENSE ARTICLE.—The term ‘‘defense article'' has the meaning given the term in section 5 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794).

(4) DEFENSE SERVICE.—The term ‘‘defense service'' has the meaning given the term in section 47 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794).
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