For Immediate Release
Washington DC – August 5, 2005
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Congressional Taiwan Caucus Urges New KMT Chairman Ma Ying-Jeou To Pass Arms Procurement Package
In a letter dated August 1, co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives Reps. Robert Wexler, Sherrod Brown and Steve Chabot urged newly elected KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou to do what he can to have the Legislative Yuan pass the special arms procurement package. This is the second time Members of Congress directly approach the KMT on the matter. In late May, thirty-three Members of Congress wrote to incumbent KMT chairman Lien Chan urging him to help expedite the arms package.
The co-chairs write: “In particular we urge you, as the new chairman of the KMT, to lead efforts in Taipei to ensure that the Legislative Yuan quickly passes a special arms procurement package or increases its annual defense spending. We believe as you do that cooperation between Taipei and Washington is paramount to Taiwan’s security and is in the mutual interest of both nations.”
Furthermore, in the letter which congratulates Ma with his election as KMT Chairman, the co-chairs reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Taiwan. They add: “As you begin your term as chairman, we want to reassure you that the United States and the American people are fully committed to the security, prosperity and future of the people of Taiwan. All of us in the Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC) are long-time friends and supporters of Taiwan and have closely followed Taiwan’s remarkable path towards a flourishing multiparty democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law.”
A the end of the letter, the co-chairs invite Ma to visit Washington this September in an obvious attempt to hear first hand from Ma on why the opposition parties in Taiwan continue to obstruct the passage of the arms budget and how Ma can help expedite passage as the new KMT chairman.