Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (H.R. 1838)
H.R. 1838 was originally introduced on May 18, 1999, by Rep. Tom DeLay
(R-Texas) and a bipartisan group of 14 co-sponsors. In the ensuing weeks, a
total of 77 Members of Congress co-sponsored the bill. A substantially revised
version, authored by Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Sam Gejdensen (D-Conn.)
was introduced as an amendment during the House International Relations
Committee mark-up of the bill on October 26, 1999. The Committee approved the
bill by a 32-6 vote, and it went to the floor of the House of Representatives on
February 1, 2000. After debate, the bill was approved by a vote of 341-70. The
complete text of the bill as passed by the House:
To assist in the enhancement of the security of Taiwan, and for other
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Taiwan Security Enhancement Act'."
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1)Since 1949, the close relationship between the United States and Taiwan has
been of enormous benefit to both societies.
(2)In recent years, Taiwan has undergone a major political transformation, and
Taiwan is today a true multiparty democracy with a political system separate from and totally unlike that of the People's
Republic of China.
(3)The economy of Taiwan is based upon free market principles and is separate
and distinct from the People's Republic of China.
(4)Although on January 1, 1979, the United States Government withdrew diplomatic recognition of the government on Taiwan as the legitimate
government of China, neither at that time nor since has the United States Government adopted a formal position as to the ultimate status of Taiwan
other than to state that status must be decided by peaceful means. Any determination of the ultimate status of Taiwan must have the express
consent of the people on Taiwan.
(5)The People's Republic of China refuses to renounce the use of force against
(6)The Taiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Western Pacific since
its enactment in 1979.
(7)The Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8) states that--
(A)peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait area are in the political,
security, and economic interests of the United States and are of
(B)the decision of the United States to establish diplomatic relations with
the People's Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future
of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means;
(C)the United States would consider any effort to determine the
future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including boycotts or
embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific
region and of grave concern to the United States;
(D)the United States will maintain the capacity to resist any form of
coercion that jeopardizes the security, or the social or economic system,
of the people of Taiwan; and
(E)the preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all people
on Taiwan are objectives of the United States.
(8)The Taiwan Relations Act establishes on the part of the United States a continuing connection with and concern for Taiwan and its people. Continued
adherence to the Act will help Taiwan to maintain its democracy free of coercion and to safeguard its people from the use of force against them.Furthermore, the maintenance by Taiwan of forces adequate for its defense is
in the interest of the United States in that it helps to maintain peace in the
Western Pacific region.
(9)The military 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 stability and United States interests in the
(10)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.
(11)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.
(12)Congress and the President are committed by the Taiwan Relations Act to determine the nature and quantity of Taiwan's legitimate self-defense needs.
(13)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.
(14)In accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States has,
since 1979, sold defensive weapons to Taiwan, and such sales have helped Taiwan maintain its autonomy and freedom. The Congress supports the continued
provision of additional defense articles and defense services in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act.
(15)It is in the national interest of the United States to eliminate
ambiguity and convey with clarity continued United States support for Taiwan, its people,
and their ability to maintain their democracy free from coercion and their society free from the use of force against them. Lack of clarity could lead
to unnecessary misunderstandings or confrontations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, with grave consequences for the security
of the Western Pacific region.
(16)A possible consequence of such ambiguity and lack of clarity was the
People's Republic of China's decision to conduct military exercises and live fire
missile tests in the Taiwan Strait in March 1996, necessitating House Concurrent
Resolution 148, approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 369-14 on March 19, 1996, and by the Senate by a vote of 97-0 on March 21,1996, which stated that "the United States, in accordance with the
Taiwan Relations Act and the constitutional process of the United States, and consistent with its friendship with and commitment to the democratic
government and people of Taiwan, should assist in defending them against invasion, missile attack, or blockade by the People's Republic of
China." Immediately following Congressional passage of House Concurrent Resolution 148, the United States deployed on an emergency basis two aircraft
carrier battle groups to the Taiwan Strait, after which the People's Republic
of China ceased further planned military exercises.
(17)An earlier consequence of such ambiguity and lack of clarity was the expressed surprise by the People's Republic of China that Congress and the
American people fully supported President Lee Teng-hui's private visit to his alma mater, Cornell University, necessitating House Concurrent
Resolution 53, approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 390-0 on May 2, 1995, and by the Senate by a vote of 97-1 on May 9, 1995, which
stated such support explicitly.
SEC. 3. TRAINING OF MILITARY OFFICERS AND SALE OF DEFENSE ARTICLES AND SERVICES TO TAIWAN.
(a)TRAINING OF TAIWAN MILITARY OFFICERS- The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments shall make every
effort to reserve additional positions for Taiwan military officers at the National Defense University and other professional military education
schools specified in section 2162(d) of title 10, United States Code, and for prospective Taiwan military officers at the United States Military Academy,
the United States Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy.
(b)FOREIGN MILITARY SALES- The Secretary of State shall, when considering foreign military sales to Taiwan--
(1) take into account the special status of Taiwan, including the defense needs of Taiwan in response to the military modernization and weapons
procurement efforts by the People's Republic of China; and
(2) make every effort to ensure that Taiwan has full and timely access to price and availability data for defense articles and defense services.
SEC. 4. DETERMINATIONS OF DEFENSE NEEDS OF TAIWAN.
(a)INCREASE IN TECHNICAL STAFF OF THE AMERICAN
INSTITUTE IN TAIWAN- Upon the request of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the President shall use funds available to the
Department of Defense under the Arms Export Control Act for the employment of additional technical staff at the American Institute in
(b)ANNUAL REPORTS- Beginning 60 days after the next round of arms talks between the United States and Taiwan, and annually thereafter, the
President shall submit a report to Congress, in classified and unclassified
(1) detailing each of Taiwan's requests for purchase of defense articles and defense services during the one-year period ending on the date of
(2) describing the defense needs asserted by Taiwan as justification for those requests; and
(3) describing the decision-making process used to reject, postpone, or modify any such request.
SEC. 5. STRENGTHENING THE DEFENSE OF TAIWAN.
(a)MAINTENANCE OF SUFFICIENT SELF-DEFENSE
CAPABILITIES OF TAIWAN- Congress finds that any determination of the nature or quantity of defense articles or defense services to be made
available to Taiwan that is made on any basis other than section 3(b) of the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3302(b)), whether such alternative basis
is the August 17, 1982, communique signed with the People's Republic of China, or any similar executive agreement, order, or policy, would violate
the intent of Congress in the enactment of such Act.
(b)COMBINED TRAINING AND PERSONNEL EXCHANGE
PROGRAMS- Not later than 210 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall implement a plan for the enhancement
of programs and arrangements for operational training and exchanges of senior officers between the Armed Forces of the United States and the
armed forces of Taiwan for work in threat analysis, doctrine, force planning, operational methods, and other areas. At least 30 days prior to
such implementation, the Secretary of Defense shall submit the plan to Congress, in classified and unclassified form.
(c)REPORT REGARDING MAINTENANCE OF SUFFICIENT SELF-DEFENSE CAPABILITIES- Not later than 45 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Congress, in classified and unclassified form, an annual
report on the security situation in the Taiwan Strait. Such report shall include an analysis of the military forces facing Taiwan from the People's
Republic of China, evaluating recent additions to the offensive military capability of the People's Republic of China. The report shall include, but
not be limited to, an analysis of the surface and subsurface naval threats, the ballistic missile threat, the air threat, and the threat to the military
and civilian communications links in Taiwan. The report shall include a review of the steps taken by the armed forces of Taiwan to address its
(d)COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND TAIWAN
ILITARY COMMANDS-Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall certify to the
Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign
Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate that direct secure communications exist between the armed forces of the United
States and the armed forces of Taiwan.
(e)RELATION TO ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT- Nothing in this section supersedes or modifies the application of section 36 of the
Arms Export Control Act to the sale of any defense article or defense service under this section.
SEC. 6. REPORT REGARDING THE ABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES
TO RESPOND IN ASIA-PACIFIC CONTINGENCIES THAT
(a) REPORT- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of
this Act, and updated as appropriate, the Secretary of Defense shall prepare
and submit to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Armed
Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate a report in
classified and unclassified form on the ability of the United States to successfully respond to a major contingency in the Asia-Pacific region
where United States interests on Taiwan are at risk.
(b) CONTENTS- The report described in subsection (a) shall include--
(1) a description of planning on the national, operational, and tactical levels to respond to, prosecute, and achieve United States strategic
objectives with respect to a major contingency described in subsection (a); and
(2) a description of the confidence level of the Secretary of Defense in United States military capabilities to successfully respond to such a
(c) PREPARATION OF REPORT- In preparing the report under subsection(a), the Secretary of Defense shall use the resources and expertise of the relevant unified commands, military departments, the combat support
agencies, and the defense components of the intelligence community, as required, and other such entities within the Department of Defense as the
Secretary considers necessary.
Passed the House of Representatives February 1, 2000.