Mon, Jun 13, 2011 - Page 1 News List

US lawmaker warns China on Taiwan

BEACON OF DEMOCRACY:The head of the Formosa Foundation described Ros-Lehtinen’s speech as the most pro-Taiwan given by any major Washington politician in a decade

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in Washington

“In this circumstance, the US has a clear duty and national interest in seeking to provide Taipei with the means to deter Chinese aggression and the confidence to resolve differences across the Strait on terms favorable to Taiwan,” she said.

“Taiwan urgently needs to upgrade its air defense capabilities, including upgrades of its existing F-16 fleet. It also needs investments in such systems as radar, electronic warfare systems and improved ground-based defense capability,” she said.

“It is long past due for the White House to approve the sale of new F-16C/D fighter aircraft to Taiwan,” she said.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) could prove to be a political tool masquerading as a trade instrument to achieve China’s ultimate goal of absorbing Taiwan, she said.

Ros-Lehtinen called on the Obama administration to admit Taiwan into its visa-waiver program and to successfully conclude Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks with Taiwan, adding that the US should move towards an eventual free-trade agreement with Taipei.

“It is strongly in America’s national interest to re-energize and upgrade relations between our two peoples and our two great democracies,” she said. “In my capacity as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I hope to do just that in the weeks and months ahead.”

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