U.S. Congressman Urges U.S. Secretary Of Defense To Sell Submarines To Taiwan
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel dated June 4, 2013, U.S. Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ) called for the sale of submarines to Taiwan. Rep. Andrews wrote: “I would like to know how the U.S. can support Taiwan’s acquisition of diesel electric submarines, including export control considerations for technical assistance and other export licensing in a support of a Taiwan submarine program.”
The Congressman concluded: “I also urge the Department of Defense (DOD) to permit and encourage American companies with expertise in areas related to the development of submarines to support Taiwan’s establishment of an indigenous submarine program. To this end, the DOD should convene such integrated product teams as may be necessary to determine the technologies that Taiwan will require, and which are releasable, to facilitate a successful program.”
In April 2001, then-President George W Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package for the country since 1992. Since then, however, there has been little progress in filling the order.
Over the years, many members of the U.S. Congress have on multiple occasions called for the sale of submarines to Taiwan. Most recently, in January 2013, a US congressional delegation led by current chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce, paid a visit to a Taiwan naval base adding momentum to the Congressional push for the sale of submarines.
Taiwan’s navy currently has four submarines, but only two of them – “Swordfish class” diesel submarines built in the Netherlands in the early 80’s — could be deployed in the event of war. The other two are World War II vintage “Guppy Class” submarines that were built by the United States in the 1940s.
FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. states: “For Taiwan to possess its own submarine fleet is not only in the immediate interest of Taiwan, it is also in the direct interest of the security of the United States. How? In case of a conflict with China, the Taiwanese submarines would be able defend the waters around Taiwan against intrusions by the Chinese Navy. This would help deter the PLA Navy, and be very helpful to the US forces in maintaining peace and security in the region.”
2013年6月4日，紐澤西州民主黨眾議員安德魯斯 (Robert Andrews) 發出給美國國防部長海格 (Chuck Hagel) ，信中敦促對台出售潛水艇。安德魯斯議員在信中寫道：「我想知道的是，美國可以如何支持台灣取得柴電潛艇，包括出口台灣潛艇計畫的相關技術控管和支援」。
近年來，許多美國國會議員紛紛呼求對台軍售。最近在2013年1月，由現任眾議院外交委員會主席洛伊斯議員 (Ed Royce) 率領的國會代表團造訪了台灣海軍基地，更加強化了美國國會對台出售潛水艇的推動。
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Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-3001
June 4, 2013
The Hon Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Dear Secretary Hagel:
As long-time friend of Taiwan and a founding member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, I write to you today about an issue of concern to me and to my Taiwanese American constituents.
Even though Taiwan is sovereign independent country today, it continues to face a daunting military threat from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The PRC still refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, and in 2005 passed an “Anti-Secession Law” mandating military action if Taiwan takes any actions that China deems to be a move toward de jure independence.
The Pentagon’s 2011 Annual Report to Congress on the Military and Security Development Involving the PRC concluded that China’s continued military modernization remained focused on the development of capabilities to “deter, delay, or deny possible US support” to Taiwan in the event of conflict. As part of its long term military expansion documented by numerous official U.S. government sources, China has added dozens of attach submarines to its fleet since 1995 with the objective of limiting the U.S.’s ability to intervene in a Taiwan contingency.
Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States must 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” U.S. assessments if Taiwan’s naval defense needs dating back to the Clinton administration have determined that there is an operational requirement for Taiwan to possess diesel electric submarines as part of an integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) architecture. Small submarines in particular would provide a credible, survivable deterrent, while playing a potentially critical role in defending against an amphibious invasion. Taiwan currently operates only two submarines that are deployable in a combat scenario.
As you know, in 2001 President George W. Bush approved Taiwan’s request for the sale of eight diesel electric submarines as part of a $12 billion arms sales package to Taiwan. However the sale remains pending to this day due to a combination of technical and budgetary challenges. President Bush nevertheless committed the U.S. to assisting Taiwan in its acquisition of diesel electric submarines.
Taiwan must maintain a sufficient self-defense force in order to engage with the PRC from a position of strength. In the face of an adversary with seemingly endless resources, a modest number of additional, updated submarines would form an indispensable part of the Taiwan Navy’s credible deterrence capability by significantly enhancing its capability for sea control and denial.
I would like to know how the U.S. can support Taiwan’s acquisition of diesel electric submarines, including export control considerations for technical assistance and other export licensing in support of a Taiwan submarine program.
I also urge the Department of Defense (DOD) to permit and encourage American companies with expertise in areas related to the development of submarines to support Taiwan’s establishment of an indigenous submarine program. To this end, the DOD should convene such integrated product teams as may be necessary to determine the technologies that Taiwan will require, and which are releasable, to facilitate a successful program.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Benjamin Culver of my staff at Benjamin.Culver@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-6501 Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter.
Robert E. Andrews
Member of Congress