Members Of U.S. Congress Urge KMT Chairman Lien To Stop Obstructing Passage Of Arms Budget
On May 26, thirty-three Members of Congress (including House International Relations Committee chair Henry Hyde) led by Representatives Rob Simmons (R-CT), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Jeb Bradley (R-NH) and James Langevin (D-RI) wrote to the Chairman of Taiwan’s Kuomintang opposition party, Lien Chan, urging him to help expedite the passage of the special defense budget now before the Legislative Yuan.
FAPA, a Taiwanese American grassroots organization advocating greater support from Congress and the general public for Taiwan received a copy of the letter with the 33 signatures.
In the letter, the Representatives express their dissatisfaction at the opposition party’s continued obstruction of passing the arms budget, deemed vital to Taiwan’s self-defense capability in light of the Chinese continuously expanding military threat against Taiwan.
They write, “The PRC’s anti-secession law and aggressive military build-up demonstrate continued hostility towards the people of Taiwan. Taiwan’s procurement of the defense systems provided for within the special budget is vital to maintaining peace and prosperity across the Strait.”
They continue, “Failure to pass the special budget has raised concerns in the United States about Taiwan’s ability to defend itself against potential aggression.” “We encourage you to affirm your party’s commitment to a strong defense force and a strong U.S.-Taiwan relationship by supporting these purchases in full and without further delay.”
The so-called “Dear Colleague letter” that the four initiators of the letter sent out to recruit signatures from their fellow Representatives, reads: “President Chen Shui-bian’s effort to fund an $18 billion defense package for U.S.-made systems is blocked by Taiwan’s opposition party in the parliament. […] In particular, Party Chairman Lien Chan, who recently completed an eight-day tour of mainland China, has blocked parliament from voting on the necessary budget even though he supported the arms package himself in the 1990s when his Nationalist Party ruled Taiwan.”
FAPA President Ming-chi Wu says, “For the past months, Congressional sources have been telling us that Taiwan’s opposition party’s liaison office in the United States has been making rounds on Capitol Hill blaming the President of Taiwan for the fact that passage of the arms budget has stalled. This letter is full proof that Washington can not be fooled.”
33 Signatures are:
Rep. Todd Akin, Rep. Rob Andrews, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Rep. Jeb Bradley, Rep. Kevin Brady, Rep. Henry Brown, Rep. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Dan Burton, Rep. Steve Chabot, Rep. Jo Anne Davis, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Scott Garrett, Rep. Phil Gingrey, Rep. Robin Hayes, Rep. Henry Hyde, Rep. Steve Israel, Rep. Nancy Johnson, Rep. Sue Kelly, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Connie Mack, Rep. Kendrick Meek, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Ted Poe, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. David Scott, Rep. Pete Sessions, Rep. Rob Simmons, Rep. Mark Souder, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Edolphus Towns, Rep. David Wu
包括重量級國際關係委員會主席海德在內的三十一位議員，在眾議員西蒙斯(Rob Simmons, R-CT)，安德魯斯(Robert Andrews (D-NJ)，布萊德利(Jeb Bradley, R-NH)，與萊文恩(James Langevin, D-RI)的領銜下，於今日聯署致函中國國民黨主席連戰，要求連戰協助快速通過軍購預算。