U.S. Senators Urge President Trump to Support Taiwan’s Self Defense Capabilities
(Arlington, Virginia, June 25, 2017)
In a June 23, 2017 letter to President Donald Trump, Senators Benjamin Cardin, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Edward Markey, John McCain, Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, and Ron Wyden urge President Trump to adopt a policy of regular, robust, and consistent support for Taiwan’s self-defense efforts in the face of ongoing military aggression by China and the growing cross-Strait military imbalance.
The letter enumerated three areas that require attention from the White House. The release of pending Taiwan arms sales programs currently awaiting Congressional notification; ending the practice of bundling Taiwan arms sales, instead establishing a regular and routine process whereby notifications would be sent to Congress when ready; and quickly and robustly addressing Taiwan’s significant and legitimate future requirements for new defense capabilities.
The Senators noted that the U.S. should not allow concerns about China to take precedence over support for Taiwan. They also commented that “China has intensified its economic coercion and military intimidation tactics, thereby stoking cross-Strait tensions and threatening peace and security in the Taiwan Strait. Given these circumstances, our support for Taiwan is more important than ever.”
Rupert Hammond-Chambers, President of the US-Taiwan Business Council, said “This letter is a welcome and positive development. The recent cross-Strait dynamics have been increasingly unstable due to coercive Chinese behavior and waning U.S. support. U.S. policy toward Taiwan requires sustained, focused, and determined engagement on Taiwan’s military modernization. The Council is pleased to see the Senate maintain its ongoing leadership on matters impacting U.S. relations with Taiwan, a core U.S. friend and ally in Northeast Asia. Such U.S. support for Taiwan serves to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is a core strategic interest of the United States.”