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US House Approves Frigate Sale to Taiwan


The House approved the sale of 4 navalfrigates to Taiwan while reaffirming its commitment to the Taiwan RelationsAct.




image Credit: USNavy Photo by Photographers Mate 3rd Class Todd Frantom

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representativespassed a bill authorizing the sale of four U.S. frigates to Taiwan, while alsoofficially reaffirming U.S. support for the TaiwanRelations Act days before the 35th anniversaryof that legislation. The bill,HR 3470,began with a section underlining the importance of TRAbefore moving on the specifics of the latest arms sale to Taiwan. “TheTaiwan Relations Act has been instrumental in maintaining peace, security, andstability in the Western Pacific since its enactment in 1979,” says the bill’s first clause.The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the Chairman of the House ForeignAffairs Committee, passed with “overwhelming bipartisan support,” according to a Foreign Affairs Committee press release. In astatement, Royce said that “America’s support forTaiwan has allowed this island nation to realize its full potential.” He added, “It is now more importantthan ever that we reaffirm our strong commitment to Taiwan and the TaiwanRelations Act.” Accordingly, the newly-passed billcontained a clause wherein Congress “reaffirms itsunwavering commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act.”

周一,美国众议院表决通过了向台湾出售四艘美制护卫舰的议案,在《与台湾关系法》立法三十五周年纪念日到来之际,美国再次正式强调对其表示支持。该法案编号为HR3470,目的是强调《与台湾关系法》其中的重要性,目前已进入售台武器最后的具体细节。“《与台湾关系法》自1979年签订以来,起到了维护西太平洋和平、安全以及稳定的作用。”该法案首项条目写到。该法案,由众议院外交事务委员会主席Rep. Ed Royce (罗伊斯)提议,(得到了)两党“压倒性的表决通过,” 据外交事务委员会的新闻发布稿. 在此声明中罗伊斯说:“美国对台湾的支持,可激发出该岛政府全部潜力。”他接着说,“当前我们重申我们对台湾以及《与台湾关系法》的坚定承诺,比以往任何时候都更重要”,因此,此次新通过的法案包含的条款寓意着国会“重申其对台湾关系不可动摇的承诺和义务。“

HR 3470 also authorized the sale to Taiwanof four decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guidedmissile frigates, the USS Taylor,USS [i]Gary, USS [i]Carr, and USS [i]Elrod. The four vessels, commissioned in1984 and 1985, can support both surface-to-surface andsurface-to-air missiles. Before the transfer of these vessels becomes official,however, the House bill will also need to pass the Senate and be approved byPresident Obama.Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed thepassage of HR 3470 in a statement,expressing its gratitude for the move. The statement said the bill displayed Congress’bipartisan support for “trust and friendship” towards Taiwan. The opposition party DPP also weighed in, with Chariman Su Tseng-chang calling the U.S. security commitment to Taiwan and U.S. human rightsadvocacy “indispensable beacons of hope to Taiwan.”With Thursday marking the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan RelationsAct, this week is a time of reflection on the TRA—and not just for Congress.Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou gave a speech on the subject via videoconference at an event at DC’sCenter for Strategic and International Studies. He called the TRA “a landmark piece of legislation that has laid the cornerstone of therobust relationship between the Republic of China and the United States.”[/i][/i][/i]



Ma also commented that when he came tooffice in 2008 it was his “top priority to improve Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S.” Ma attributedthe improvement in cross-strait relations to strong ties between Taiwan and theU.S.: “With U.S. support, Taiwan has been able toimprove cross-strait relations and confidently engage Beijing from a positionof strength.” This has generally been the U.S. positionas well: that providing Taiwan with defensive arms can increase the island’s ability to deal with the mainland on an equal footing.Needless to say, China does not share thisview. Chinese scholars believe that, since cross-strait relations are at anall-time high, there is no need for further arms sales. Of course, China alsobelieves such sales are a direct violation of the one-China policy and inviolation of previous U.S. promises made in joint communiques with Beijing. A spokesmanfor China’s Ministry of National Defense told the press back in March, “We urgethe U.S. side to adhere faithfully to the one-China policy … and stop arm sales to Taiwan immediately.”Accordingly, China responded angrily to the passage of HR 3470. A statement from the Ministry ofNational Defense complained that “The U.S. side ignored China’s strong opposition, and insisted on passing the bill pushingweapons sales to Taiwan.” The statement further warnedthat the act “doubtless will seriously interfere in anddamage the development of Sino-U.S. military ties and the peaceful developmentof cross-strait relations.”[/i][/i][/i]

同时,马还说到, 自2008年上任以来“改善台湾与美国的关系”是他的头等任务。马认为改善两岸关系,(有助于)加强美台之间的关系。“通过美国的支持,台湾已有能力改善两岸关系并得到自信地与北京(对话?)的资格”这是美国一贯的立场:如,向台湾提供防御性武器可增强该岛与大陆平等对话的能力。不用说,中国肯定不会同意这种观点。中国学者认为,由于两岸关系正处于历史最佳水平,没必要进一步推售武器。当然,中国还认为,这种销售是对一个中国政策的直接侵犯并且违反以前美国与北京签署的《联合公报》中的承诺。早在今年3月中国国防部发言人告诉记者, “我们敦促美方恪守一个中国的政策……并立即停止向台湾出售武器。”因此,对于HR 3470通过中国作出了愤怒的回应。国防部发表声明说,“美方不顾中国的强烈反对,并强行通过向台湾销售武器的法案。”声明还警告说,该法案”无疑将严重干扰并破坏中美军事关系与两岸关系的和平发展。”


The timing was especially awkward, with U.S.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel just finishing up a trip to China designed toboost military ties between the two countries. In the past, mil-to-milrelations have been the major targets of Chinese anger over arms sales. Inresponse to a 2010 $6.4 billion arms sale, the first of Obama’spresidency, China refused to allow then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates to visitChina as part of a larger Asia tour. Should the billmove forward through the Senate and by signed by Obama, China might chose tocut off mil-to-mil contacts in retaliation.Interestingly, though, the response fromChina treats the bill as a done deal, even though the bill has currently onlypassed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The statement fromChina’s defense ministry elides the distinction between Congress and theWhite House by accusing the “U.S. side” of ignoring Chinese opposition. Such complaints would have beendirected more to the executive branch’s foreign policyapparatus than to Congress itself. Since the U.S. Congress is historically verysupportive of Taiwan (and very critical of China, especially on human rightsissues), it’s dangerous for China to equateCongressional action with White House policy, especially sinceCongress today is notorious for resisting Obama’s wishes.[/i][/i][/i]



EvanApril 10, 2014 at 07:37As usual,Taiwan will pay top dollars for these scrap. KMT and its supporters inWashington will pocket the most of it. Lets see if the Taiwan local islandershave the intelligence to figure this out and have the guts to challenge KMT.Reply


IvanApril 10, 2014 at 08:30Don’t buy it!Buy fromcompetitors like PRC or Russia or India.


pug_sterApril 10, 2014 at 05:50Lol, lookslike Taiwan has to pay for American hand me downs.Reply


TtengApril 10, 2014 at 01:53(Not mine..)As a point ofcomparison, here are the average lifespans ofseveral recently retired or retiring ship classes.Perry FFG 29yrs



(Mine)I hopeROC-navy didn’t pay more than scrap metal value for them.Reply


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