14 APRIL 1999

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. Thank you
for this opportunity to speak to you about the security situation in
the Taiwan Strait. It is especially important to address these issues
on the 20th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. In the interest
of reserving time to answer any questions you may have, I respectfully
request that the following statement be entered into record. I have
prepared a brief statement that specifically addresses your interest
in the views of the Department of Defense toward the security
situation in the Taiwan Strait. (Oral text follows statement)

The overarching U.S. goal is to preserve peace and stability in the
Asia-Pacific region. The policy of the United States toward Taiwan and
the PRC is integral to this goal. We maintain our obligations toward
Taiwan as stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act, not only because it
is law but because it is good policy. We also maintain a policy of
comprehensive engagement with the PRC, also because it is good policy.
These two approaches are complementary and support our often-stated
interest that the PRC and Taiwan peacefully resolve their differences.
To that end, we are encouraged by the resumption of cross-Strait
talks. A constructive and peaceful Taiwan-PRC dialogue serves the
interest of all the parties and is a major element in achieving
long-term regional peace and stability.

Our commitment to peace and stability is further bolstered by the
maintenance of approximately 100,000 U.S. troops in the region, a
policy most recently reaffirmed by Secretary Cohen in DoD's 1998 East
Asia Strategy Report. There have been times when more than simple
dialogue and presence have been necessary to maintain stability.
America's enduring commitment is well-known and widely appreciated
throughout the region, and contributes to our overall approach to the
cross-Strait issue. Our commitment to take the necessary action was
visibly demonstrated in March 1996 by our deployment of two carrier
battle groups to the region in response to provocative PRC missile

U.S. Policy Toward Taiwan

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979 forms the legal basis of U.S.
policy regarding the security of Taiwan. Its premise is that an
adequate Taiwan defensive capability is conducive to maintaining peace
and security while differences remain between Taiwan and the PRC.
Section 2(b) states, in part, that it is the policy of the United

(4) to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other
than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to
the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave
concern to the United States;

(5) to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and

(6) to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort
to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the
security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.

Section 3 of the TRA also provides that the "United States will make
available to Taiwan such defense articles and services in such
quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient
self-defense capability." The Act further states that "the President
and Congress shall determine the nature and quantity of such defense
articles and services based solely upon their judgement of the needs
of Taiwan, in accordance with procedures established by law." The TRA
also asserts that a determination of Taiwan's needs "shall include
review by United States military authorities in connection with
recommendations to the President and Congress."

Let me also call attention to an aspect of the August 17, 1982, Joint
Communique between the United States and the People's Republic of
China that is extremely important to Taiwan's security. In this
document, the PRC stated that its "fundamental policy" is "to strive
for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question." Having in mind this
policy and the anticipated reduction in the military threat to Taiwan,
the 1982 Communique outlined our intention to gradually reduce the
quantity and quality of arms sales to Taiwan. At the time the Joint
Communique was issued, we made it clear that our intentions were
premised upon the PRC's continued adherence to a peaceful resolution
of differences with Taiwan.

We recognize that the PRC, while stressing its desire for peaceful
reunification, has not renounced the use of force. Accordingly, we
carefully monitor the PRC's military modernization program, especially
as it relates to Taiwan, to determine how best to provide Taiwan an
appropriate "sufficient self-defense capability."

U.S. Defense Assistance to Taiwan

We continually reevaluate Taiwan's defense posture and self-defense
capabilities and consult with Taiwan about its needs. In assessing
these needs, the Department of Defense has dedicated significant
intelligence resources over the past two decades to monitoring the
military balance in the Strait. We also have an active dialogue with
Taiwan's defense establishment to keep current on their defense needs.

Consistent with our obligations under the TRA, we have helped Taiwan
achieve a formidable capacity to defend itself and to maintain a
strong defense posture. Taiwan has acquired several defensive systems
from the U.S. in recent years, including E-2T airborne early warning
aircraft, NIKE, HAWK and CHAPARRAL ground-based batteries, and 150
P-16 fighters to enhance its air-defense capability; Knox-class
frigates for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and to protect its sea lines
of communication (SLOCs); and M-60A tanks and armed helicopters to
counter an amphibious invasion. We have also provided support for
Taiwan to construct the more advanced Perry-class frigates to assist
in ASW and protection of SLOCs; sold F-16-launched HARPOON anti-ship
missiles; and provided the Modified Air Defense System, a Patriot
system derivative.

In addition to these hardware sales, we are increasingly focusing on
enhancing functional areas in Taiwan's defense system to enable Taiwan
to better apply the equipment at hand. We seek to help Taiwan
integrate key missions of air defense, anti-submarine warfare and
protection of sea lines of communication; and counter-landing
operations. We conduct functional exchanges and host programs under
FMS and IMET to address such areas as personnel, training, logistics
management, development of joint service doctrines, and C4I. The
contribution of such "software" assistance will add measurably to
Taiwan's overall defense posture.

As this year's DoD Report to Congress on the Security Situation in the
Taiwan Strait points out, the dynamic equilibrium of the cross-Strait
military balance has not changed dramatically over the last two
decades. The deployment of short range ballistic missiles opposite
Taiwan serves as one exception. The size of the PRC's offensive
theater missile force -- to include the introduction of land attack
cruise missiles into the PLA inventory -- is expected to grow
substantially within the next few years.

The United States has a strong interest in the maintenance of peace
and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Recent military moves and
deployments there have the result of undermining -- rather than
enhancing -- confidence. The United States urges restraint in the
operations and deployments of the ARCO. The United States has abided
by and will continue to abide by its commitments to Taiwan under the
Taiwan Relations Act. Similarly, we believe that Taiwan's security
will also be enhanced as we work to improve relations with the PRC.

U.S.-China Engagement Policy

The Administration remains firmly committed to our engagement strategy
with China. This strategy is consistent with and appropriate for
relations between two major countries with both vital mutual interests
and profound differences in outlook and beliefs.

Indeed, engagement and pursuit of a cooperative relationship are not
to gloss over the very critical differences we have with Beijing's
leaders on a wide range of issues. Our broader security dialogues with
China aim at narrowing differences on key foreign policy issues. We
have a vigorous dialogue with the PRC on Taiwan, U.S.-Japan security
ties, nonproliferation, and overall U.S. regional security strategy.

On the other hand, we are developing important overlapping global and
regional security interests. Key among these is the maintenance of
peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We also share concerns
about nuclear testing in India and Pakistan and a range of
non-conventional transnational security threats, including terrorism,
drug trafficking, environmental degradation, and the spread of
infectious diseases. China is also becoming increasingly committed to
the maintenance of global WMD non-proliferation regimes.

Ultimately, our policy is designed to pursue cooperation with China
where appropriate while opposing Chinese actions and policies with
which we disagree.

U.S. Military-to-Military Relationship with China

The relationship of the Department of Defense with the People's
Liberation Army (PLA) is an integral part of the overall
Administration strategy of purposeful engagement with the PRC.
Sustained senior-level dialogue and interaction at all levels will
enable us to develop better mutual understanding of capabilities,
commitments and intentions; enhance confidence; and promote trust in
order to avoid miscalculations and misperceptions that can lead to
conflict. The principles of transparency, reciprocity and pursuit of
mutual interests inform our military engagement activities. Through
this approach, DoD has advanced several objectives in its relationship
with the PLA:

-- We have reduced the possibility for miscalculations and accidents
between operational forces through development of a variety of
confidence-building measures (e.g., 1997 Military Maritime
Consultative Agreement, ship visits, and humanitarian
assistance/disaster relief cooperation)

-- We have gained insights into the PLA through bilateral functional
exchanges (e.g., military medicine, military law, and defense
university exchanges)

-- We have ensured open communications during times of tension through
routine senior-level defense dialogues (e.g., annual SecDef meetings,
vice-ministerial level discussions (Defense Consultative Talks,
Service chief visits, CINC visits)

-- We have a greater understanding of PLA views in PRC internal
politics and foreign policy decision-making (such as North Korea and
the Persian Gulf)

-- We have expanded PLA participation in appropriate multinational and
multilateral military activities (e.g., conferences on military law,
management, medicine)

-- We have enhanced understanding of China's strategic doctrine
through continuing Sino-American security dialogue

We will continue our dialogue with the Chinese national security
community to articulate our vital interests, cooperate in those areas
where we share common security interests, and minimize differences in
those areas where our interests differ. Such dialogues do not harm
Taiwan's interests.

Indeed, in all our dialogues, we make clear to the PRC that we will
continue to support Taiwan in its legitimate defense needs not only
because it is required by U.S. law, but also because it serves the
wider interests of peace and stability in the region. We also have
made clear that we support only a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan
issue, and regard any attempt to resolve the issue by other than,
peaceful means, or any other action that threatens regional stability
to be of grave concern to the United States.

Finally, it is important to reiterate our belief that any improvements
in the U.S.-PRC bilateral relationship are not zero-sum: they will not
come at Taiwan's expense, but rather serve to prevent possible
misperceptions, enhance mutual trust and transparency, and promote
restraint. Taiwan will be a primary beneficiary of the regional peace
and stability fostered by positive Washington-Beijing relations. We
believe the Taiwan people share this view.

Ultimately, the U.S. position is that the Taiwan issue is for people
on both sides of the Strait to resolve. This remains the best approach
and our policy must remain consistent in this regard. Indeed, this is
the only long-term guarantee of a peaceful and durable solution across
the Taiwan Strait. It is also a necessary element in guaranteeing
long-term peace and stability in East Asia.

Mr. Chairman, it is particularly important to note that six
administrations of both parties have understood that comprehensive
engagement with Beijing represents the best way to promote our
interests and to encourage a positive and constructive PRC role with
the world. This policy has served the interests of the United States,
the PRC, Taiwan, and regional security and prosperity. It has enabled
us to pursue engagement with China and strong, unofficial ties with
Taiwan. It has enabled Taiwan's people and leaders to maintain their
security, produce one of the world's economic miracles, and
consolidate its democracy.

Our relations with Taiwan and the PRC are likely to be one of our most
complex and important foreign policy challenges for many years to
come. Indeed, the global political and regional environment is very
different today than at the time the three Communiques and Taiwan
Relations Act were formulated and implemented. Nonetheless, these
documents have served U.S. interests in maintaining peace and
stability in the Taiwan Strait for more than 20 years and remain the
best framework for guiding U.S. policies into the future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.