Rep. McCaul Seeks Affirmation From Pentagon On “No Restraint” Policy On Arms Sales To Taiwan

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel dated September 5, 2013, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) asks Secretary Hagel to affirm that the United States does not have a policy of self-restraint on weapons sales to Taiwan.

Rep. McCaul continues: “I ask that you confirm that the U.S. is fully committed to the defense of Taiwan and does not consult with China about sales of weapons to Taiwan.”

The following incident had prompted Rep. McCaul to send the letter to Secretary Hagel: On August 19, PRC’s Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan net with Secretary Hagel at the Pentagon. A day later, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the PRC’s Ministry of National Defense Guan Youfei told reporters that General Chang had suggested to Secretary Hagel that the US and the PRC set up a joint task force on the issue of arms sales to Taiwan, and, according to General Chang Wanquan, Secretary Hagel, had responded that setting up a joint task force was a good suggestion.

In his letter, Rep. McCaul spells out President Ronald Reagan’s Six Assurances of July 14, 1982 and states that together with the Taiwan Relations Act these Six Assurances form the cornerstone of U.S. Taiwan relations. The Congressman adds: “I believe it is always a bad idea for the United States to invite aggressive powers into consultations on the security of America’s treaty allies or partners for whom the United States has statutory security commitments.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D., states: “This letter is the result of discomfort felt among members of Congress since the infamous August 19 meeting between Secretary Hagel and General Chang. Chinese misinterpretation of what transpired during the meeting provided Chairman McCaul with an opportunity to seek reaffirmation from the Pentagon that, contrary to Chinese claims, there is no change in US policy re. arms sales to Taiwan.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “Recognition of the “Six Assurances” as the second cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations, alongside the TRA, is essential to American policy which has allowed Taiwan to become the free society it is today. Beijing does not believe in the legitimacy of either document, because they fly in the face of its aspirations to annex Taiwan by force. For this reason alone, the Taiwanese American community applauds the U.S.’s enduring adherence and commitment to both pillars of the bilateral relationship.”

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麥考眾議員要求美國國防部重申美國在對台軍售上不會自我限制

201395日,美國眾院國土安全委員會主席,德州共和黨眾議員麥考(Michael McCaul)致函美國國防部長黑格爾(Chuck Hagel),要求黑格爾部長重申美國不會在對台軍售一事上自我限制。

麥考議員表示:「請您確認美國對於協助防衛台灣的決心,並重申美國在軍售台灣時不會徵詢中國的意見。」

819日, 中國國防部長常萬全將軍在五角大廈與黑格爾部長會面。翌日,中國國防部外事辦主任關友飛將軍向媒體表示,常將軍席間曾向黑格爾部長提議,雙方應組成一個工作小組以處理對台軍售的「問題」,而據常將軍表示,黑格爾部長回應說這是一個不錯的建議。因為這個消息,促使麥考議員寫信給黑格爾部長要求查證並重申美國 立場。

麥考眾議員亦在信中再次列出雷根總統於1982714日提出的「六項保證」,並表示這六項保證與「台灣關係法」同為台美關係的基石。麥考議員並補充道:「我認為美國在處理與友邦或國防盟友的事務上,邀請極權國家共同商議並不是一個好主意。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「這封信,代表的是美國會議員對於黑格爾部長與常將軍於819日的會面的憂心。中國對於這次會面的錯誤解讀,讓麥考議員有機會要求國防部出面反駁中方說法,重申美國對台軍售政策並未改變。」

高博士總結道:「認同『六項保證』與『台灣關係法』同為台美關係的兩大基石,對於美國對台政策非常重要,因為就是這個政策幫助台灣成為今日的自由社會。中國 並不認同這兩份文件的正當性,因為與其侵略台灣的野心正面衝突。因此,台美人社團要讚許美國政府對於這兩份重要的台美關係文件長期的堅持及執行。」

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The Honorable Chuck Hagel                                                       September 5, 2013
Secretary of Defense
1600 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310

Dear Secretary Hagel:

As a friend and supporter of Taiwan, I would like to thank you for continuing the long-standing partnership between the United States and our democratic ally, Taiwan.

I was concerned to hear that director Guan Youfei, director of the PRC’s Ministry of Defense Office of Foreign Affairs, stated that at a meeting between you and PRC Defense Ministry general Chang Wanquan at the Pentagon on August 19, you had agreed with general Chang’s proposal that the U.S. and the PRC establish a joint task force on the issue of arms sales.

As you know, our relationship with Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979, which directs both Congress and the President to make defense articles available to Taiwan, based solely on the “judgment of the needs of Taiwan.” Another cornerstone of the U.S. policy toward Taiwan is the “Six Assurances” that president Reagan conveyed to Taiwan President Chiang Ching-kuo on July 14, 1982. At the time, President Reagan made clear that the United States:

(1)   has not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan;
(2)   has not agreed to hold prior consultations with the People’s Republic of China on arms sales to Taiwan;
(3)   will not play any mediation role between Taipei and Beijing;
(4)   has not agreed to revise the Taiwan Relations Act;
(5)   has not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan; and
(6)   will not exert pressure on Taiwan to negotiate with the People’s Republic of China.

Along with the TRA, these Six Assurances form the basis of the overall policy approach that the United States has taken toward Taiwan for over 30 years.  It is a policy that has successfully maintained peace in the Taiwan Strait while providing for Taiwan’s economic prosperity and political transformation, both of which are to the enormous benefit of the United States.

I believe it is always a bad idea for the United States to invite aggressive powers into consultations on the security of America’s treaty allies or partners for whom the United States has statutory security commitments. President Regan made this clear both publicly and confidentially at the conclusion of the so-called ‘August 17, 1982 Communique’ with China, and all his successors have repeated that commitment.

I ask that you confirm that the U.S. is fully committed to the defense of Taiwan and does not consult with China about sales of weapons to Taiwan, and that you affirm that we don’t have a policy of self-restraint on weapons sales to Taiwan.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we strengthen the long-standing friendship and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, based on the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL T. MCCAUL
Member of Congress

(September 6, 2013) Rep. McCaul Seeks Affirmation From Pentagon On “No Restraint” Policy On Arms Sales To Taiwan / 麥考眾議員要求美國國防部重申美國在對台軍售上不會自我限制