US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday that the US hasn't always received a "satisfactory" response from Taiwan with regard to US efforts to help modernize the Taiwanese military.
Rice made the remarks while attending a hearing of the House International Relations Committee on the fiscal year 2007 international affairs budget request. She said the US has also been clear that it has obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) to help Taiwan defend itself.
Rice said the US has "proposed that there are things that could be done for the modernization of Taiwanese forces with the help of the United States."
However, the US hasn't always received "a particularly satisfactory response on the Taiwanese side to issues about defense modernization, but we have been prepared to discharge our duties in that regard."
It's not "Taiwan" but the pan-Blues who are stopping the purchase. You're just playing into their hands by blaming Taiwan, Ms. Rice. Meanwhile Taiwan Caucus Co-Chair Steve Chabot deserves a big round of applause for his remarks to Secretary of State Rice:
Chabot admitted that he is "not a big fan" of the so-called "one China" policy, saying he believes it is "wrongheaded" and "dangerous."
During the hearing, Chabot cited a Taipei Times cartoon to make his point.
The cartoon, published by this paper on Feb 4, shows a man labeled "Taiwan," who is trying to crawl out of the water to get away from a shark that is labeled "China." From the shore, a bat-wielding Uncle Sam is saying to Taiwan "Get back in there! We don't want to alter the status quo."
"I use this cartoon as an illustration of the frustration I'm sure Taiwan's leaders must be feeling, and frankly, the frustration I am feeling," Chabot was quoted as saying in the hearing's transcript.
Chabot said that "every time Taiwan's democratically elected President Chen Shui bian (
陳水扁) opens his mouth," the State Department gets worried and accuses Taiwan of trying to change the "status quo."
He said the main threat to the "status quo" in the Taiwan Strait is actually China, which is pursuing a rapid military buildup, has 784 missiles pointed at Taiwan and last year passed the "Anti-Secession" Law giving it legal cover to attack Taiwan.
Good man, Steve. People sometimes seem almost allergic to mentioning the Chinese military threat.
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