House Taiwan Caucus Urges President To Move Forward With Arms Sales To Taiwan – Calls Arms Freeze Violation Of Spirit Of TRA
In a letter dated July 31, 2008, co-chairs of the House Congressional Taiwan Caucus Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) together with 23 other Members of the House of Representatives urged President Bush to move forward with arms sales to Taiwan in light of recent reports in the press that the Administration is putting a freeze on US arms sales to Taiwan.
The Representatives write: “Recently, we have been aware of a possible freeze on all foreign military sales to Taiwan. We believe that a freeze on foreign military sales to Taiwan violates the spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act.”
They continue: “The military and strategic imperatives for Taiwan are real and urgent, and if we fail to show the necessary resolve it would mean missing a significant opportunity to improve cross-strait peace and security – a vital U.S. interest.”
They conclude: “In our view, a secure and prosperous Taiwan requires the means to provide for its own self defense and the ability to engage its neighbors without fear of military intimidation. Taiwan’s ability to maintain its defense rests heavily upon its ability to acquire defense articles that are capable of deterring aggressive neighbors. […] Taiwan has a right to be “secure,” and that can only be guaranteed by an unambiguous and non-negotiable commitment from the United States to provide Taiwan with weapons systems consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.”
FAPA President Bob Yang, PH.D. says: “The 1979 U.S. Taiwan Relations Act, which is the “Law of the Land” clearly stipulates that “It is the policy of the United States to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character.” Therefore, any such Arms Freeze is a clear violation of the Law and needs to be lifted immediately.”
On June 30, a similar letter was sent to President Bush by 14 Senators.