On June 16th, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs conducted a full committee hearing on “Why Taiwan Matters.” Unlike most issues in Congress, supporting Taiwan is not a partisan issue – both Democrats and Republicans support Taiwan and there are open repeated efforts to sell to Taiwan advanced weapons for Taiwan to defend herself:
Congress is among the world’s most stalwart supporters of Taiwan, and has refused to back down in the face of recently shifting political winds. Last month, 45 members of the Senate, representing both sides of the aisle, signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging the administration to sell Taiwan the weapons it has requested. In addition to reiterating the weapons request, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen also said Thursday that she would push for new legislation to update the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA]. The act, passed in 1979, requires the U.S. to sell weapons to Taiwan necessary for its defense.
There is definitely a concern by many in Congress to keep China in check militarily, but I am sure that selling weapons to Taiwan is also economically beneficial to many Congressional districts. I still have a lot of relatives in Taiwan, so I like to keep on top of what’s going on in Taiwan from time-to-time, as well as 0n U.S. policy towards Taiwan and China.
Economically, if China attacked Taiwan, consequences would ripple quickly in the IT industry in Silicon Valley – more so than I think the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States would also become quickly involved with any problems, and the last thing our country needs is to get into another conflict. Providing a strong deterrence against Chinese aggression is mutually beneficial for Taiwan and the United States, so I was glad to read that the House had a committee on “Why Taiwan Matters” – because Taiwan does matter!