Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan should not start war, says congressman

By Nadia Tsao  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

The US has a commitment to defend Taiwan, but former president Bill Clinton's deployment of two aircraft carriers near Taiwan in 1996 should not happen again, said the chairman of the US House of Representatives' newly created subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.

Eni Faleomavaega, a Vietnam War veteran, told Chinese-language media in Washington on Tuesday that although he sees Taiwan as a democracy and believes that the people of Taiwan should decide Taiwan's future, he does not want Taiwan to make trouble and then leave the US and China to fight it out.

The US does not need another military conflict, he added.

The delegate from American Samoa added that the US Congress is very concerned about China's development of anti-satellite missile capabilities and that the China might be able to knock out US surveillance satellites.

Faleomavaega's subcommittee is officially responsible for Taiwan-China relations.

According to information learned by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper), House Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Tom Lantos has hired an expert on Asian affairs who is fluent in Mandarin in a sign that Lantos may be intending to oversee the cross-strait issue at the committee level.

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