Tag Archive: President

U.S. Senators Urge President Trump to Support Taiwan’s Self Defense Capabilities

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.

A copy of the letter is attached, and can also be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.us-taiwan.org.

U.S. Senators Urge President Trump to Support Taiwan’s Self Defense Capabilities (PDF)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/us-senators-urge-president-trump-to-support-taiwan-self-defense-capabilities/

Benjamin L. Cardin & John McCain Letter to President Obama Regarding Arms Sales to Taiwan – November 19, 2015

Letter (PDF):

Benjamin L. Cardin & John McCain Letter to President Obama Regarding Arms Sales to Taiwan – November 19, 2015


Text of the letter:

November 19, 2015

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20515

Dear President Obama,

America’s long-standing commitment to Taiwan is a multifaceted and bipartisan effort that includes many components, all of which must be exercised as we seek to support and safeguard the ability of the people on Taiwan to determine their own future. One critical component is U.S. security assistance and arms sales to Taiwan to help modernize and build the capacity of its armed forces. We believe this support must be more robust.

While recent relations between Taiwan and China have been more encouraging, we remain concerned that China’s ongoing military modernization, and the threat it poses to peace and security in the Taiwan Strait, is not being adequately addressed. We recognize that a great deal of bilateral security cooperation is taking place between the United States and Taiwan, including more than $12 billion worth of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan since the start of your administration. These actions have been welcome. However, we are troubled that it has now been over four years – the longest period since the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 – since the administration has notified Congress of a new arms sale package.

The United States must continue to further our interests in cross-Strait stability – a vital component of which is arms sales to Taiwan, pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act – even when doing so brings short-term tensions in our relationship with China. The United States should develop and implement an ongoing plan for Taiwan’s military modernization, including how the administration plans to address Taiwan’s legitimate requirement for additional new manned fighters and submarines and other self-defense articles and services. Given some of the obstacles with the current approach, we believe that a regular and routine process for the provision of security assistance to Taiwan is essential.

Finally, we believe that it is equally important that Taiwan strive to meet President Ma Ying-jeou’s 2008 commitment to invest at least 3 percent of its annual gross domestic product on defense. We are increasingly concerned that, absent a change in defense spending, Taiwan’s military will continue to be under-resourced and unable to make the investments necessary to maintain a credible deterrent across the strait, especially as its limited defense resources are increasingly constrained by growing military personnel costs.

Consistent with the requirements of the Taiwan Relations Act, which call for regular consultations between the Executive Branch and Congress, we look forward to the opportunity to discuss together how best we can support and strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, including any arms sales under consideration or planned.


Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator

John McCain
United States Senator

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/benjamin-l-cardin-john-mccain-letter-to-president-obama-regarding-arms-sales-to-taiwan-november-19-2015/