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Congressman Sherrod Brown denounces Chinese threat against Taiwan

Washington, 25 February 2000

Congressman Sheerod Brown

U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) denounced Chinese attempts to destabilize Taiwan's second historical democratic elections by issuing threats in a recently released White Paper. Brown, a senior member of the International Relations Committee and its Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, is widely known for his efforts to recognize Taiwan's sovereignty.

"China is obviously desperate to undermine the growth of democracy just off its shores. Four years ago, the Chinese government tried to upset Taiwan's first historic democratic presidential election by shooting missiles across the Straits of Taiwan, but their plan backfired. Last week, they were at it again. This time, they threatened military action only three weeks before Taiwan's second democratic election," Brown said.

"Chinese officials have placed their motives on the table. They admit their latest policy statement threatening 'drastic measures including military force' was timed to intimidate Taiwanese citizens likely to vote for the pro-independence candidate Chen Shui-bian. But their arm-twisting won't work in Taiwan or in the United States. The people of Taiwan deserve to elect their president without the threat of violence," he added.

"As Congress prepares to vote on permanent normal trade relations to China, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to China's intimidating tactics. China's threat of military action against their democratic neighbor should send a message to every member of Congress. We cannot afford to dole out increased privileges to a country that has no respect for the rule of law," Brown said.