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20 Years Taiwan Relations Act

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20 Years Taiwan Relations Act

On 26 March 1999, the Senate version of the Resolution, S.Con.Res.17, was reported in the US Senate. The text of this resolution is as follows:

Senate Concurrent Resolution 17

Concerning the 20th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

Whereas April 10, 1999, will mark the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, codifying in public law the basis for continued commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and Taiwan;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act was advanced by Congress and supported by the executive branch as a critical tool to preserve and promote extensive,close, and friendly commercial, cultural and other relations between the United States and Taiwan;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait since its enactment in 1979;

Whereas when the Taiwan Relations Act was enacted in 1979, it affirmed that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China is based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means;

Whereas officials of the People's Republic of China refuse to renounce the use of force against democratic Taiwan;

Whereas the defense modernization and weapons procurement efforts by the People's Republic of China, as documented in the February 1, 1999, report by the Secretary of Defense on "The Security Situation in the Taiwan Strait," could threaten cross-strait and East Asian stability and United States interests in the East Asia region;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act provides explicit guarantees that the United States will make available defense articles and services necessary in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act requires timely reviews by United States military authorities of Taiwan's defense needs in connection with recommendations to the President and the Congress;

Whereas Congress and the President are committed by Article 3(b) of the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3302(b)) to determine the nature and quantity of what Taiwan's legitimate needs are for its self-defense;

Whereas Taiwan routinely makes informal requests for defense articles and defense services to United States Government officials, which are discouraged or declined informally by United States Government personnel;

Whereas it is the policy of the United States to reject any attempt to curb the provision by the United States of defense articles and services legitimately needed for Taiwan's self-defense;

Whereas it is the current executive branch policy to limit most high-level dialog regardingbregional stability with Taiwan senior military officials;

Whereas it is the policy set forth in the Taiwan Relations Act to promote extensive commercial relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, and that policy is advanced by membership in the World Trade Organization;

Whereas Taiwan completed its bilateral market access negotiations with the United States on February 20, 1998, and all countries which asked to negotiate bilateral agreements with Taiwan have concluded those agreements, although Canada has reopened negotiations on certain products;

Whereas the human rights provisions in the Taiwan Relations Act helped stimulate the democratization of Taiwan;

Whereas Taiwan today is a full-fledged multi-party democracy that fully respects human rights and civil liberties and, as such, serves as a successful model of democratic reform for the People's Republic of China;

Whereas it is the policy of the United States to promote extensive cultural relations between the United States and Taiwan, ties that should be further encouraged and expanded;

Whereas any attempt to determine Taiwan's future by other peaceful means, including boycotts or embargoes, would be considered a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States;

Whereas the Taiwan Relations Act established the American Institute on Taiwan to carry out the programs, transactions, and other relations of the United States with respect to Taiwan, and

Whereas the American Institute in Taiwan has played a successful role in sustaining and enhancing United States relations with Taiwan;

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that--

  1. the United States should reaffirm its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and the specific guarantees of provisions of legitimate defense articles to Taiwan contained therein;
  2. the Congress has grave concerns over China's growing arsenal of nuclear and conventionally armed ballistic missiles adjacent to Taiwan, and the effect that buildup may have on stability in the Taiwan Strait, nad United States government officials should continue to raise these concerns with officials of the People's Republic of China;
  3. the President should seek from leaders of the People's republic of China a public renunciation of any use of force, or threat of use of force, against democratic Taiwan;
  4. the President should provide annually a report detailing the military balance on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, including the impact of procurement and modernization programs underway;
  5. the Secretary of Defense should make available to the appropriate committees of Congress the annual military requirements list submitted by Taiwan;
  6. it should be the United States policy to encourage participation of Taiwan in a high-level regional dialogue on the best means of ensuring stability, peace, freedom of the seas in East Asia; and
  7. it should be United States policy in conformity with Article 4(d) of the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3303(d)) to publicly support Taiwan's admission to the World Trade Organization forthwith, on its own merits, and consistent with the bilateral market access agreement with the United States.