UNITED STATES-TAIWAN ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE COOPERATION ACT (House of Representatives - November 06, 1997)

[Page: H10149]

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 302, I call up the bill (H.R. 2386) to implement the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act concerning the stability and security of Taiwan and United States cooperation with Taiwan on the development and acquisition of defensive military articles, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gibbons). The bill is considered read for amendment.

The text of H.R. 2386 is as follows:

H.R. 2386

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `United States-Taiwan Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The stability and security of Taiwan and the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait are key elements for the continued peace and stability of the greater Asia-Pacific region, and the indefinite continuation of such stability and security and balance of power is in the vital national security interest of the United States.

(2) The People's Republic of China is currently engaged in a comprehensive military modernization campaign that is enhancing the power-projection capabilities of the People's Liberation Army, including the introduction of advanced ballistic and cruise missiles that could alter the current balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and in the greater Asia-Pacific region.

(3) The current lack of transparency in the People's Republic of China military infrastructure and its associated defense establishment and the opaqueness of the comprehensive efforts of the People's Liberation Army to modernize its ballistic and cruise missile programs could spark a regional arms race that would destabilize the East Asia and Western Pacific regions and threaten vital United States national security interests.

(4) In March 1996, the People's Liberation Army created a temporary, but de facto, blockade of both the international shipping lanes of the Taiwan Strait and the international airspace around Taiwan by conducting live-fire military exercises which included the launch of several advanced, nuclear-capable M-9 ballistic missiles to target areas close to major ports in both the northern and southern areas of Taiwan.

(5) In March 1996, the locations of People's Liberation Army military activities and M-9 missile target areas nearby to Taiwan's two largest ports, Keelung and Kaohsiung, created a de facto blockade of the Taiwan Strait, international waters and airspace, interfered with United States and international shipping and aviation, and impinged upon the national security interests of the United States, requiring the immediate deployment of two United States aircraft carrier battle groups to the South China Sea.

(6) The actions of the People's Liberation Army in such close proximity to Taiwan were deliberate attempts to disrupt Taiwan's social and economic stability and were carried out as attempts to intimidate the people of Taiwan during the period leading up to Taiwan's historic first democratic presidential election.

(7) The early development and deployment of an effective United States theater missile defense system to the Asia-Pacific region, and the adjustment of United States policy to include Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu, under the protection of such defense system, would be prudent and appropriate responses to--

(A) the refusal by the People's Republic of China to renounce the use of force to determine the future of Taiwan;

(B) the nature of the military threat of the People's Republic of China posed by the increased focus of the People's Liberation Army on advanced missile development; and

(C) the demonstrated intent of the Government of the People's Republic of China to use live-fire military exercises and ballistic missile tests against the people and Government of Taiwan as tools of so-called coercive missile tests against the people and Government of Taiwan as tools of so-called coercive diplomacy.

(8) The early deployment of a United States theater anti-ballistic missile system in the Asia-Pacific region would maintain a balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and deter the People's Republic of China from resorting to military intimidation tactics to coerce or manipulate the people and freely-elected Government of Taiwan in the future.

(9) Taiwan's local air-defense capability provided by the United States Modified Air Defense System (MADS) is not adequate for the task of defending local areas of Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu, from limited ballistic missile attacks or deterring the threat and use of force against Taiwan by the People's Liberation Army to achieve the political goals of the core leadership of the People's Republic of China.

(10) Taiwan has requested further United States cooperation on missile defense, including the conduct of a joint architecture study of the requirements for the establishment and operation of a missile defense system for Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu.

SEC. 3. APPLICABILITY OF TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT.

Section 3 of the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3302) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(d) The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) supersede any provision of the Joint Communique of the United States and China of August 17, 1982.'.

SEC. 4. STUDY AND REPORT RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF A THEATER BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

(a) Study: The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a study of the architecture requirements for the establishment and operation of a theater ballistic missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region that would have the capability to protect Taiwan from ballistic missile attacks. The study shall include a description of appropriate measures by which the United States would cooperate with Taiwan and provide Taiwan with an advanced local-area ballistic missile defense system.

(b) Report: Not later than July 1, 1998, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate a report containing--

(1) the results of the study conducted under subsection (a);

(2) the factors used to obtain such results;

(3) a description of any existing United States missile defense system that could be transferred to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act in order to allow Taiwan to provide for its self-defense against limited ballistic missile attacks.

(c) Form of Report: The report under subsection (b) shall be submitted in both classified and unclassified form.

SEC. 5. TRANSFER OF BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS TO TAIWAN.

It is the sense of the Congress that the President, if requested by the Government of Taiwan and in accordance with the results of the study conducted under section 4, should transfer to the Government of Taiwan appropriate defense articles or defense services under the foreign military sales program under chapter 2 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2761 et seq.) for the purpose of establishing and operating a local-area ballistic missile defense system to protect Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu, against limited ballistic missile attacks.

SEC. 6. STATEMENT OF POLICY RELATING TO UNITED STATES THEATER MISSILE DEFENSES FOR THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

The Congress declares that it is in the national interest of the United States that Taiwan be included in any effort at ballistic missile defense cooperation, networking, or interoperability with friendly and allied nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 302, the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill and modified by the amendments printed in part 4 of House Report 105-379 is adopted.

The text of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended pursuant to House Resolution 302 is as follows:

H.R. 2386

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[Page: H10150]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `United States-Taiwan Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The stability and security of Taiwan and the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait are key elements for the continued peace and stability of the greater Asia-Pacific region, and the indefinite continuation of such stability and security and balance of power is in the vital national security interest of the United States.

(2) The People's Republic of China is currently engaged in a comprehensive military modernization campaign that is enhancing the power-projection capabilities of the People's Liberation Army, including the introduction of advanced ballistic and cruise missiles that could alter the current balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and in the greater Asia-Pacific region.

(3) The current lack of transparency in the People's Republic of China military infrastructure and its associated defense establishment and the opaqueness of the comprehensive efforts of the People's Liberation Army to modernize its ballistic and cruise missile programs could spark a regional arms race that would destabilize the East Asia and Western Pacific regions and threaten vital United States national security interests.

(4) In March 1996, the People's Liberation Army created a temporary, but de facto, blockade of both the international shipping lanes of the Taiwan Strait and the international airspace around Taiwan by conducting live-fire military exercises which included the launch of several advanced, nuclear-capable M-9 ballistic missiles to target areas close to major ports in both the northern and southern areas of Taiwan.

(5) In March 1996, the locations of People's Liberation Army military activities and M-9 missile target areas nearby to Taiwan's two largest ports, Keelung and Kaohsiung, created a de facto blockade of the Taiwan Strait, international waters and airspace, interfered with United States and international shipping and aviation, and impinged upon the national security interests of the United States, requiring the immediate deployment of two United States aircraft carrier battle groups to the South China Sea.

(6) The actions of the People's Liberation Army in such close proximity to Taiwan were deliberate attempts to disrupt Taiwan's social and economic stability and were carried out as attempts to intimidate the people of Taiwan during the period leading up to Taiwan's historic first democratic presidential election.

(7) The early development and deployment of an effective United States theater missile defense system to the Asia-Pacific region, and the adjustment of United States policy to include Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu, under the protection of such defense system, would be prudent and appropriate responses to--

(A) the refusal by the People's Republic of China to renounce the use of force to determine the future of Taiwan;

(B) the nature of the military threat of the People's Republic of China posed by the increased focus of the People's Liberation Army on advanced missile development; and

(C) the demonstrated intent of the Government of the People's Republic of China to use live-fire military exercises and ballistic missile tests against the people and Government of Taiwan as tools of so-called coercive diplomacy.

(8) The early deployment of a United States theater anti-ballistic missile system in the Asia-Pacific region would maintain a balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and deter the People's Republic of China from resorting to military intimidation tactics to coerce or manipulate the people and freely-elected Government of Taiwan in the future.

(9) While Taiwan is currently acquiring a local aircraft and ballistic and cruise missile defense capability in the form of the Modified Air Defense System (MADS), a larger portion of Taiwan's territory and population would be protected if this system were expanded to include a defense of the Taichung region, Kaohsiung, the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu from limited ballistic missile attacks and a deterrent against the threat and use of force against Taiwan by the People's Liberation Army to achieve the political goals of the core leadership of the People's Republic of China.

(10) Taiwan has requested further United States cooperation on missile defense, including the conduct of a joint architecture study of the requirements for the establishment and operation of a missile defense system for Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu.

(11) On June 9, 1898, the `Convention Respecting an Extension of Hong Kong Territory' was agreed to between representatives of the governments of Great Britain and China to lease the New Territories for the period of 99 years beginning on July 1, 1898.

(12) On December 19, 1984, the `Sino-British Joint Declaration', agreed to between representatives of the governments of Great Britain and China, established the terms for the return to China on July 1, 1997, of the Hong Kong area (including the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories (hereafter in this resolution referred to as `Hong Kong').

(13) No treaties exist between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan which determine the future status of Taiwan.

(14) The People's Republic of China attempts to apply to Taiwan the formula commonly known as `one country, two systems' in a effort to annex Taiwan to China.

(15) The People's Republic of China has refused to renounce the use of force against Taiwan and held military exercises in the Taiwan Strait in March 1996 in an attempt to intimidate the people of Taiwan in their first presidential elections.

(16) The Taiwan Relations Act states that `[i]t is the policy of the United States . . . 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'.

SEC. 3. STUDY AND REPORT RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF A THEATER BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

(a) Study: The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a study of the architecture requirements for the establishment and operation of a theater ballistic missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region that would have the capability to protect Taiwan from ballistic missile attacks. The study shall include a description of appropriate measures by which the United States would cooperate with Taiwan and provide Taiwan with an advanced local-area ballistic missile defense system.

(b) Report: Not later than July 1, 1998, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate a report containing--

(1) the results of the study conducted under subsection (a);

(2) the factors used to obtain such results;

(3) a description of any existing United States missile defense system that could be transferred to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act in order to allow Taiwan to provide for its self-defense against limited ballistic missile attacks.

(c) Form of Report: The report under subsection (b) shall be submitted in both classified and unclassified form.

SEC. 4. TRANSFER OF BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS TO TAIWAN.

It is the sense of the Congress that the President, if requested by the Government of Taiwan and in accordance with the results of the study conducted under section 3, should transfer to the Government of Taiwan appropriate defense articles or defense services under the foreign military sales program under chapter 2 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2761 et seq.) for the purpose of establishing and operating a local-area ballistic missile defense system to protect Taiwan, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, and Matsu, against limited ballistic missile attacks.

SEC. 5. STATEMENT OF POLICY RELATING TO UNITED STATES THEATER MISSILE DEFENSES FOR THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

The Congress declares that it is in the national interest of the United States that Taiwan be included in any effort at ballistic missile defense cooperation, networking, or interoperability with friendly and allied nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

SEC. 6. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS URGING THE PRESIDENT TO MAKE CLEAR TO THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA THE COMMITMENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY IN TAIWAN.

It is the sense of the Congress that the Clinton Administration should make clear to the leadership of the People's Republic of China, the American people's firm commitment for security and democracy for the people of Taiwan and that the United States fully expects that the resolution of security issues on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will be resolved by peaceful means.

SEC. 7. ADDITIONAL SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING TAIWAN.

It is the sense of the Congress that--

(1) the transfer of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China does not alter the current and future status of Taiwan;

(2) the future of Taiwan should be determined by peaceful means through a democratic process; and

(3) the United States should assist in the defense of Taiwan in case of threats or military attack by the People's Republic of China against Taiwan.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 302, the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] and the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Hamilton] each will control 30 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman].

(Mr. GILMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

GENERAL LEAVE

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on H.R. 2386.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

[Page: H10151]

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter], a member of the Committee on National Security, for introducing this legislation. And I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the measure, and I support it wholeheartedly.

I want to thank, too, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch] and the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Frost] for their amendments, which help to further clarify and improve the initial bill.

The People's Republic of China is currently engaged in a comprehensive military modernization program that is enhancing the power projection capabilities of its armed forces, the People's Liberation Army. Included in this modernization program is the development and deployment of advanced ballistic missiles that can soon alter the balance of power across the Taiwan Strait.

The security of Taiwan and the maintenance of a balance of power in the Taiwan Strait are key aspects for continued peace and prosperity in the region and an assurance that the question of Taiwan will be resolved peacefully as the United States and China have agreed in previous communiques. The PRC should hold no doubt that the United States would view with great concern any efforts to do otherwise.

Furthermore, there are pragmatic reasons to be concerned. We all should be deeply troubled by the actions of the Chinese just last year when they fired ballistic missiles into international air and sea lanes off the coast of Taiwan in an effort to intimidate the people of Taiwan during the first democratic elections in 5,000 years of Chinese history.

Mr. Speaker, the United States had to respond by deploying two aircraft carriers to the region. This sort of missile diplomacy by the Chinese is unacceptable. For our own national security and for peace and stability of the region, we should consider providing Taiwan with this sort of defensive system when it is fielded in the Asia-Pacific region. This bill does just that.

Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter], chairman of our Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and chairman of our Committee on International Relations.

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. BEREUTER

Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment I placed at the desk be considered as adopted.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Bereuter:

In section 7(3) after the word `States' insert the following: `, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act and the constitutional processes of the United States,'.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the amendment is considered as adopted.

There was no objection.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the bill, for several reasons. First of all, it is apparent I think, as we read the bill, that it has a flawed internal logic. It mandates a study and a Presidential report about the establishment of a theater ballistic missile defense system that includes Taiwan. At the same time, without waiting for the results of that study, it calls for making such a system available to Taiwan. That does not, it seems to me, make a lot of sense.

Secondly, I do not think the bill is necessary. Taiwan does not need this technology and, so far, does not even want it. The United States Department of Defense already has an ongoing ballistic missile defense program with Taiwan. It sold Taiwan a Patriot derivative that is comparable to a system just introduced in the U.S. Army last year.

The senior Taiwanese military leaders are not ready to commit to an unproved ballistic missile defense technology. It really is not a question of money. Taiwan has purchased over $8 billion in arms from the United States in the last 5 years. It has $87 billion in reserves. If it wanted this technology, Taiwan would be knocking on our door to buy it. But nobody is knocking.

I have a letter dated September 29, 1997, from the United States Department of Defense. It reads, in part, `Senior Taiwan military leaders are highly skeptical of a significant investment in the area of ballistic missile defense. The Taiwan military is rightly concerned about the potential for a huge diversion of resources to ballistic missile defense programs that have an uncertain future at best.'

[TIME: 1930]

The third reason is I think the bill is provocative. Everyone knows that China regards Taiwan as an integral part of the People's Republic of China. Offering Taiwan some of the world's most advanced weaponry, weaponry that Taiwan does not want or need, appears to be deliberately designed to provoke China. I do not think that helps our friends in Taiwan, and it carries some risk for Taiwan.

There was another reason to be against this bill, but I think that reason has now been corrected by the unanimous consent made at the suggestion of the gentleman from Nebraska. I want to thank him for making that unanimous consent, because I think the language that was inserted into the bill by the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch] has now had an addition to it which brings the language in the bill in line with the framework that has provided peace and stability and prosperity in the region for over two decades. It does not, I think, alter that framework language. I think the unanimous consent language is a good addition to this bill.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I think the bill has an internal logic in it that is flawed. I think the bill is not necessary. I think it is provocative. It carries, it seems to me, some risk with no prospect for any benefit. I think, therefore, it may reduce and not enhance the security of our friends in Taiwan. It is my understanding that the administration strongly opposes this bill. I urge its defeat.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter].

Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman], the chairman of the committee, for helping to shepherd this bill through the process and get it to the House floor and for all the work that he has done and other members of the committee, including the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter] and the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch], have done with respect to the contents of the bill.

The bill is logical, it is reasonable, it is prudent and it is in total accord with the Taiwan Relations Act. There is no faulty logic that I can see, internal logic flaw that the gentleman from Indiana says there is. Reading the part of the bill that I think he is talking about, and that is the part of the bill that, following the study, says:

`It is the sense of the Congress that the President, if requested by the Government of Taiwan and in accordance with the results of the study conducted under section 3, should transfer to the Government of Taiwan appropriate defense articles under the foreign military sales program under chapter 2 of the Arms Export Control Act for the purpose of establishing and operating a local-area defense ballistic missile defense system to protect Taiwan.'

That says in accordance with the results of the study. That obviously infers that the study has to be completed. We cannot transfer the articles until we have results, and so I think that is a reasonable, logical sequence that is manifest in the bill and I do not see any problem there.

I think it is important, Mr. Speaker, to send an unmistakable signal to friends and foes alike. I think that that is the lesson we learned in the Middle East with respect to the invasion of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein claims that he was under the notion that we did not care if there was an invasion of Kuwait. Maybe he is lying, maybe he is misbehaving. He does that often. But certainly the statements of our representatives were not clear, were not unambiguous. It is important if you are going to defend an ally and you are going to offer that defense umbrella and that defense umbrella was unmistakably offered in the recent incident when China lobbed missiles, M-9 missiles over the bow of Taiwan and we came to the aid of Taiwan with American ships and American force projection, it is obvious that Taiwan is under our defense umbrella. We have demonstrated that.

It is also obvious that missiles are the weapon of choice for China. They are building missiles at a rapid rate. The administration tells us that by the year 2010, there will be over 2,000 missiles, many of them fast missiles, ballistic missiles, in the Chinese armory. If we are going to defend Taiwan and hopefully if we are going to give Taiwan the ability to defend itself so that American troops do not always have to be rushed into that area of the world and American navies do not always have to be projected into that area of the world, it is important to meet the weapon of the day. The weapon of the day clearly and the weapon of the future for China is missiles, theater ballistic missiles, some of them fairly fast, some of them faster than the PAC-II missiles that we are currently developing.

All this bill does is request that DOD, that the President and DOD commence a study to evaluate an architecture that could be deployed in this area of Asia. And upon completing that study and if requested by the government of Taiwan and in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, which incidentally says that the United States will provide articles of defense for Taiwan, then it is the sense of Congress that we should put together a defense system that includes in its area the defense of Taiwan.

Mr. Speaker, I would say simply this is something that we are doing with our allies around the world. We are working on theater missile defense with our European allies right now. We are developing a partnership program in cooperation with Israel with development of the TMD system, the Arrow, which is an antitheater missile defense system, and it is absolutely appropriate, reasonable and logical and in the interest of the United States to have this study and ask the Clinton administration to report back to us and then take further action if the study, the results of the study and the request of Taiwan is in that direction.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend everybody who has worked on this language and put it together. I think this is an important part of our China package. It says that we stand with our friends and that we continue, as we do under the Taiwan Relations Act, to support our friends with defense articles and that we realize that defending against M-9 missiles and their successors is an important part of that duty.

[Page: H10152]

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spratt].

(Mr. SPRATT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, this bill concerns our national security, but it was not heard, it was not debated, it was not marked up, it was not reported by the Committee on National Security because the committee waived jurisdiction. The first time I knew of it was today when the gentleman from California [Mr. Cox] called it to my attention. I read the bill, read the report, read the dissenting views and I reluctantly oppose it, reluctantly because I think those who sponsor it are well-intended, but I disagree with the means they are using to advance this particular proposal.

On its face, this bill does seem simple. It asks the Pentagon to study the architecture of a theater ballistic missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region which would protect Taiwan. It asks those who do that study to spell out just how the United States would cooperate with Taiwan and how we would provide Taiwan, specifically Taiwan, with a missile defense system which would not only cover Taiwan but would cover Matsu and Kinmen and the Penghu Islands. The bill asks for the study by July 1 and, even before the bill is completed and the study is started, it throws in a sense of the Congress that this resolution should make clear to the People's Republic of China the commitment of the American people to security in Taiwan. Just what that means, I am not really sure. I would be cautious about the way we broadcast such commitments to the world without clearly knowing what security obligations we are undertaking.

The study sought by this bill in my opinion is wholly unnecessary. The BMD or ABM missile defense architecture it asks for is easy enough to spell out right here on the floor of the House. First of all, it would consist of the THAAD, theater high altitude interceptor, on the ground in Taiwan when it becomes operational, maybe 4, 5, 6 years from now. The THAAD would take out incoming missiles in their late mid-phase, as they honed in on Taiwan. It would have to be complemented because there would probably be some leakers that the THAAD would not get by a Navy system called the Upper Tier or Area Defense. This would be based on surface ships like cruisers, the Aegis cruisers specifically, and when and if it becomes operational 4, 5, 6 years from now, its role would be to take out incoming missiles in the ascent phase, right after booster burnout if at all possible. Both of these systems would be complemented by, in the case with the THAAD, ground-based radar, based in Taiwan, and by the SPY radar on Aegis cruisers, and both would likely include some linkage to our DSB satellite for the detection of a missile launch and to queue the interceptors and their radars. Eventually around 2004, 2005 or 2006 this system would probably be tied into our so-called SMTS, low earth orbit satellites, 18 to 24 of them, with infrared seekers that will be in orbit around the whole globe if our plans are carried out today as they are designed.

This system is not deployed today, it is not ready for deployment. The THAAD is not deployed today, it is not ready for deployment. The Navy's Upper Tier system is not deployed today. The THAAD and the Upper Tier system have been tested 4 or 5 times each and each has yet to make a successful intercept. They are still in the late phases of engineering development. The SMTS, the low earth orbit satellite, are at least 6 or 7 years off before they can be deployed.

Nevertheless, knowing what we know of these components today, doing a little viewgraph engineering, we can design this architecture. We do not have to spend $500,000 to design the architecture. We know basically what it is. So this bill serves no practical purpose that I can see, none whatsoever. If Members want to know what the architecture is, I have just about told them what it can be. If they want anything more elaborate, it is too early to tell because the components are not yet systems in being. To the extent that Members want to know more, they can get it. Write the Ballistic Missile Defense Office a letter, have the chairman of the committee or the chairman of the Committee on National Security write him a letter and he will be over here in a week, not 6 or 7 months. A week. He will tell you essentially what I have just told you except he has got CADCAM, he will bring drawings, he will bring viewgraphs, he will bring anything you want to see on the architecture. You will not have to wait 6 months and it will not cost you $500,000.

If you want the United States to cooperate with Taiwan, we are already cooperating with Taiwan in a very discreet manner, but in a very concrete manner as well. The Taiwanese are right now buying and taking delivery of the PAC-II, Patriot II batteries, 8 of them altogether. In addition, we are letting them have our extended range intercept missiles called the PAC-IIIs, the latest thing off the production line. We are making those available to them as well. So we are actually cooperating now.

We do not need to wave this red flag, and we can accomplish the same purpose that this resolution proposes without the provocation and without the cost. A wise President once said with respect to our foreign policy that we should speak softly but carry a big stick. A wise Congress would do well to remember that sage advice and vote this resolution down.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spence], the distinguished chairman of our Committee on National Security.

(Mr. SPENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SPENCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. I rise in support of H.R. 2386, the United States-Taiwan Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Act. In my opinion, issues of national security have been ignored for far too long in the debate over the People's Republic of China.

[Page: H10153]

[TIME: 1945]

While promoting American political values and free trade are essential elements of United States foreign policy, protecting our national security interests is the bedrock upon which our policy ought to be built.

Today in East Asia, and despite recent fluctuations in financial markets, economic activity is proceeding at a frenetic pace bringing prosperity to more and more people. Likewise, as clearly demonstrated in Taiwan, democracy is taking hold. These developments are a direct result of a general geopolitical stability that characterizes much of East Asia, a stability more often than not guaranteed by the United States.

The quandary we now face is how to look at China in the context of an Asian, even a global, security regime. China's economy is growing by leaps and bounds and is already recognized in the region as a great power. However, whether or not Chinese political, economic and military power will be a force for stability remains unknown and raises several fundamental questions.

First, what are China's national ambitions? China, the so-called Middle Kingdom, has long considered itself a great nation and center of the civilized world. Chinese leaders have stated that they intend to become a dominant power in Asia as well as a world power. China is not content with the current geopolitical status quo and appears to envision a long-term competition with the United States both in the region and elsewhere.

Second, what are China's strategic goals? China is embroiled in a variety of border disputes and claims of sovereignty around virtually its entire perimeter. Moreover, as Chinese leaders realize that their economic growth is increasingly dependent on foreign trade, their security interests also are becoming more expansive. China's ties to Iran and other Middle East nations, links to Latin America and budding strategic partnership with Russia are indicative of Beijing's broadening horizons.

Third, what is China's national military strategy? Great power ambitions and expanding strategic horizons have forced the Chinese to shift from their longtime focus on homeland defense to developing the ability to project power in maritime East Asia and beyond.

Finally, where is China headed with regard to military modernization? Until recently, assessments of Chinese modernization have focused primarily on the new warships and combat aircraft being built and bought, especially from Russia. However, the People's Republic, the People's Liberation Army has proved an astute student of the lessons of Operation Desert Storm. The PLA was stunned at the effectiveness with which our Armed Forces waged a high technology war.

At the same time the Chinese obviously noted the inability of the United States to fully defend against the crude Scud missiles in Saddam Hussein's arsenal. During last year's tense confrontation between China and Taiwan, the PLA used ballistic missiles as an aggressive form of blockade in support of its own coercive diplomacy. China's President Jiang Zemin himself concluded several years ago in reviewing the lessons of the Gulf War, and I quote, modern warfare has become high-tech warfare. It is a multidimensional war, electronic war, missile war, unquote.

According to Jiang, the ability to conduct this missile war is our major principle in military modernization. Those who downplay China's military buildup do not understand the kind of threat this missile war presents. Preserving some measure of stability in East Asia will in the future increasingly rely on effective missile defenses.

Mr. Speaker, I submit that we all must recognize that protection of America's own national security interests is essential to our evolving China policy. If we fail to recognize this reality, our overall China policy will be inconsistent; in the long run, ineffective.

H.R. 2386, the United States-Taiwan Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Act, represents an important statement on one security-related element of our China policy. Defending Taiwan against the very real threat of Chinese ballistic missile attack will promote regional stability, and it will strengthen our United States alliances.

I urge the support of my colleagues.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch].

Mr. DEUTSCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2386. This bill addresses two core issues in U.S. policies toward China: No. 1, the current and future political status of Taiwan; and, No. 2, the defense of Taiwan from threats or military attacks by China.

H. Con. Resolution 100, which I introduced back on June 18 just prior to the return of Hong Kong to China, is now included in the bill of the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter]. My legislation has 42 cosponsors and broad bipartisan support. It specifically expresses the sense of Congress that, one, the transfer of Hong Kong to China does not alter the current and future status of Taiwan; two, the future status of Taiwan should be determined by peaceful means through a democratic process; and, three, the United States should assist in the defense of Taiwan in cases of threat or military attack by China against Taiwan.

The historic transfer of Hong Kong to China on July 1 should bear no consequence on the future status of Taiwan. The case of Taiwan is separate and distinct from Taiwan. Unlike Hong Kong, Taiwan has never entered into any agreements with China that determine the future status of Taiwan. Taiwan is, in fact, a de facto independent state and should determine its official future political status peacefully through democratic means.

Beijing's claim on Taiwan is based neither on historic nor legal realities. The facts are clear. With the exception of a brief period from 1887 to 1895, Taiwan has been free of Chinese rule. Today Taiwan has separate governments, financial markets, dialects and cultures from mainland China.

Mr. Speaker, by calling something black does not make it black; by calling something white does not make it white. Taiwan is a de facto independent state.

The second major component of this legislation is the U.S. role in the defense of Taiwan. I was deeply concerned last year as I watched the so-called military exercises by the Chinese in the Taiwan Strait. It is obvious that the Chinese attempted to test the will of the United States with those exercises. The United States demonstrated with the deployment of two aircraft carriers and aggressive diplomacy that we would stand up to the Chinese and defend Taiwan against these acts of aggression.

H.R. 2386 will further the U.S. commitment to assist in the defense of Taiwan by providing them with arms of a defensive nature which should act as a deterrent from future Chinese threats and protection in case of an attack. H.R. 2386 is consistent with the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act which states that any threat to Taiwan's safety and security is of grave concern to the United States.

Speaker Gingrich bolstered the basis of the communiques and the act on his recent visit to China when he told China's President that the United States will defend Taiwan, period. I commend the Speaker for his comments and urge this body to adopt such a stance with the passage of this legislation.

This is not a partisan issue. I say to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that we have a responsibility to fortify and defend democracies throughout the world. That is at the crux of U.S. foreign policy. Our relations with Taiwan should not be treated any differently.

The issue is not for the U.S. Congress to determine the current or future status of Taiwan or to be their sole defenders in all confrontations. Rather, it is our duty to ensure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself against acts of aggression by China as it seeks to define its political status.

Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter] for this important piece of legislation, as well as the gentleman from California [Mr. Cox], the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] and the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon] for their hard work and leadership. I urge all my colleagues to support H.R. 2386.

[Page: H10154]

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California [Mr. Cunningham].

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I am not going to have to raise my voice tonight because I respect all the Members on this issue and, as a matter of fact, good friends with them. But I would disagree, and I would like to explain on some of the issues.

During the Navy I served with Admiral Brown on 7th Fleet staff. I was responsible for the defense of all Southeast Asia countries. For example, in Korea it was Team Spirit. We dealt with the host countries, not only the potential and exercise threat, but I had linguists that actually monitored North Korea in the real threat. We had Yama Secura, Japan; Cobra Gold and Tangent Flash in Philippines, and part of that was the threat on Taiwan.

China is not our ally, in my opinion. I think that Hong Kong will have much more effect on China than China has on Hong Kong. And I do not think there will be peace in the Middle East in my lifetime, but I believe we have to engage in the Middle East and constantly work in that direction.

I think the same is true with China. I think we have to engage in China, realizing that it takes a long time to change a 10,000-year-old dog, and especially a dog that has got very sharp and brutal teeth and is willing to use them at any time.

The real problem: During the recent missile firings from China in the direction of Taiwan, any time we take the U.S. fleet through the straits, they are in peril. It could be very difficult, and China has a formidable force that could make us pay bitterly. That is why the Upper-Tier system connected with the THAAD system is so very important, and the treaty not to slow down the missiles, because that would make us have to have more Aegis cruisers.

But while we are trying to get through those straits, Taiwan is going to have a period of time where it is very difficult for them to survive. It is not very far across those straits, and they have the landing forces in which Taiwan is going to have to have some defense for itself. This will help us. If we get there after China was already embarked, we could pay even a bitter price.

So I support the gentleman's amendment, and I think it is very important.

I would say one other thing not connected to this bill, that Israel just sold missiles to Turkey. I plan on offering a bill that denies or will refuse to have Turkey employ those air-to-air missiles in Cyprus, because I think that would be potentially dangerous.

I thank Members on both sides of the aisle for their thoughtfulness.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from California [Mr. Rohrabacher].

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, it was not that long ago when we stood and watched as Red Chinese missiles were flung over the islands of Taiwan in an attempt to intimidate the people who lived there during their first free election.

[TIME: 2000]

This was an attempt by a regime in Beijing, the last remnants of Communist dictatorships on this planet, to exert their power over the 20 million people of Taiwan, and we stood helplessly. No, we did not just stand helplessly, but we did send aircraft carriers.

Is it more important for us to send aircraft carriers? Is that what we want as our only option, is to send offensive weapons into this troubled region, when the Chinese Communists decide to flex their muscles?

It would be a travesty for us not to develop a system, a defensive system, with the Taiwanese, that we can exercise when the Communist Chinese are trying to exert their influence in an improper way.

We have seen them do it before, and we had no other option but to send those aircraft carriers. Thousands of American lives were at stake in order to prevent aggression upon Taiwan.

This resolution that we are discussing today will lead, hopefully, after a study, towards a relationship with Taiwan, where we will be permitted to defend Taiwan, something that is completely within the Taiwan Relations Act. This is an agreement we have had with the Chinese, with the Communist Chinese, over the years, that we could sell them defensive weapons. If we back away from this, if we back away from this alternative, what are the Chinese Communists going to say?

Certainly they do not believe we are going to use offensive weapons against them should they move against Taiwan. No. They will say what we have heard here earlier before tonight, and that is, `Well, you can talk about freedom, you can talk about being against oppression in China, just don't do anything about it.'

Well, here we have an option that we can do something about potential aggression that threatens the peace of the world and puts the democracies of the world on notice and on the line about what their response will be. We can prepare with the Taiwanese a defensive missile system that will protect them against this type of horrible aggression of high-technology missiles aimed at their population centers.

We should not back away from this. If we do, we will have no other option but to send offensive weapons into that theater at a time of crisis and chaos. That is the very last thing that we want to do, is leave ourselves with that option, only the offensive option.

So I would plead with my colleagues, let us do what is right. We can strike a blow for freedom, but not threaten anyone, because these are defensive systems we are talking about. We can provide ourselves the option that in a future crisis we will have something other than an offensive threat that actually threatens their people in a response to Communist Chinese aggressive acts. It makes all the sense in the world.

Those of us who are trying to make sure that we have a more peaceful world, those of us who do not want to send a wrong message to Communist Chinese bosses in Beijing, we want to send them the message that we are strongly behind democracy in Taiwan and will not see them take it out by force, it is good to provide them a missile defense system.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spratt].

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman from California [Mr. Rohrabacher] would respond to a question, is the gentleman aware that we are now providing Taiwan PAC-2 missile defense systems and we also have agreed to sell them PAC-3, and that is state of the art, that is the best we can provide right now?

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker will the gentleman yield?

Mr. SPRATT. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, this bill is totally consistent with our agreement.

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I understand. The gentleman is saying we would have nothing other than an offensive option. We are already providing them with the most that we have got.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. We are moving forward.

Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. SPRATT. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, it is the understanding I have, and I have asked some of our experts on this, the missiles that China is evolving right now outstrip the capability of PAC-2 and PAC-3.

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, there is no question about that. To the extent they are effective at all, it is what we have got, and we are giving them that right now, number one. Number two, the THAAD and the upper-tier are not available to give. They are not in production.

Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield further, so this makes absolute sense to have a track that you are following that starts us working with Taiwan to develop that system, so that when we have it, it is mature, it is in place, and it takes over for the PAC-2 and the PAC-3, which cannot handle the M-9.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman must understand, this is a study. What harm has it done to study this issue, so we can be prepared in case what we have already done is not adequate to meet the threats of the future?

[Page: H10155]

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, there is no harm done. The study is unnecessary. The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization can come right now and paint you the architecture, but the components to fill in the architecture are not systems in being; they are several years off from production.

The fact that we are providing the PAC-3 is ample indication that when these systems are available, we will provide them, too. That is enough. You do not have to go this far.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon], the distinguished chairman of our Committee on Rules.

Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time, and also thank the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter] and the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch].

Mr. Speaker, I guess I have spoken enough on these bills over the last couple of days. I guess I will not go back into the problems that exist with the People's Republic of China. It is just sickening to think about the deplorable human rights violations, the religious persecution, and the sale of chemical and biological factories to countries like Iran, and missiles. It just goes on and on and on.

But let me just go back to 1978 when something very sad happened. We had a President named Jimmy Carter, and he was one of the kindest, most decent men I think I ever met; too kind and too decent perhaps. But he saw fit to derecognize a country called the Republic of China, and now it is called Taiwan.

But all during the fight, all during those years, during the Second World War and then fighting communism, Taiwan and the Republic of China were one of the links in the chain of defense against the spread of death and deadly atheistic communism, and we, the United States of America, turned our back, for the first time in history, on these people that stood side by side with us, shoulder to shoulder. It was just disgraceful, but it happened.

Then, in 1979, even before Ronald Reagan got here, Members sitting here today, the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman], myself, the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Hamilton], and others, wrote something called the Taiwan Relations Act, and it is now the law of the land.

The law of the land always supersedes any kind of communiques, any kind of agreements that are made between people. It is the law of the land, and that Taiwan Relations Act says that we will provide the people of Taiwan with the qualitative and quantitative weaponry to defend themselves.

Well, with what we see happening throughout the Chinese Government in recent years, with the missile proliferation, we know there is a real danger, not only to the American fleet there and American soldiers in the area, but certainly to the people of Taiwan, to which we owe a great deal.

That is why this bill is so terribly important today. We need to pass this legislation. We need to continue to send the message to the People's Republic of China that we will not put up with what they attempted to do back in March of 1996 when they tried to interrupt the elections going on in free China, on Taiwan, with their missile deployment.

We need to stand steady with our allies, even though we do not recognize them officially, and this legislation does just that. That is why I have such great praise for the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter] and the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Deutsch], who amended the legislation, and certainly the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] for bringing this important legislation to the floor of this House. I urge support of the legislation.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak out of order for just a moment with respect to H.R. 2358, the Political Freedom in China Act, which was debated here a day or so ago. During that debate, I was waiting for a letter to come over from the White House with respect to the Gilman-Markey amendment. The letter did not arrive on time, so I am going to read that letter now with respect to H.R. 2358. The letter is dated November 5, 1997.

Dear Mr. Speaker: I am writing to express the Administration's strong opposition to legislation offered by Representatives Gilman and Markey in connection with the certification by the President on China's nonproliferation policies and practices. In our judgment, the legislation would put at risk the substantial achievements we have made in our nonproliferation dialogue with China and undercut our ability to make further progress.

First, the United States achieved extremely valuable nonproliferation commitments from China, based on the current law governing certifications to Congress implementing the U.S.-China agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. By `moving the goalposts,' this proposal would undermine our credibility with China, possibly causing Beijing to reconsider some of its important commitments, for example regarding Iran.

The existing 30-day review period provides ample time for consideration of the President's certification package. Even when the nuclear cooperation agreement is in full effect, nuclear exports will be licensed on a case-by-case basis, and may be suspended at any time. This provides continuing leverage over Chinese behavior and a lengthy period of time for monitoring the implementation of Chinese assurances.

Second, this proposal would imprudently revise the established process under the Atomic Energy Act for Congressional consideration of agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation. Unlike previous law, which established clear requirements for the President's certifications, under this proposal Congress could permanently block nuclear exports to China, without providing any guidance to the Executive Branch as to the conditions that need to be met to implement the agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation. Going forward with the nuclear cooperation would then require the passage of new legislation in order to undo the prohibition on nuclear exports. This would amount to a fundamental and unnecessary review of the Atomic Energy Act and a major obstacle to ever reaching agreement with China on the conditions for peaceful nuclear cooperation.

Sincerely, John Hilly, Senior Advisor to the President and Director for Legislative Affairs.

I thank the Speaker for permitting me to read this statement.

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time on the bill pending, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from California [Mr. Cox], who has been one of the major movers in these series of bills that we have been considering the last few days.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gibbons). The gentleman from California [Mr. Cox] is recognized for 7 1/2 minutes.

Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman of the Committee on International Relations, and I also thank the ranking member for his very, very worthwhile comments and important perspective on this, because, frankly, we are this close, even though he opposes the bill, to agreeing on all the fundamental points.

The ranking member, after all, makes the point that while this bill would support a study of cooperation with Taiwan on theater missile defense, that is already our policy. We already supply missile defense systems. We have supplied four Patriot systems to Taiwan. We already cooperate with them on missile defense. But, whereas the fact that this bill is consistent with our policy is my reason for supporting it and offering it, it is the ranking member's reason for opposing it.

As we heard in debate, the Patriot systems that we have made available to Taiwan, and which, incidentally, Taiwan purchases, we do not provide them as foreign aid, they have long since outgrown that, are inadequate to deal with the very realistic threats that Taiwan now faces and that this Congress faced in one of its finest moments last year.

We all recall when Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the United States of America the arsenal of democracy, making it very plain that sometimes in order to have freedom one has to fight for it, and the United States was then and is now the arsenal of democracy. But the People's Republic of China we saw last year is essentially the arsenal of antidemocracy, because they used their military power to try to prevent legislative elections in 1995 in Taiwan and the first ever presidential elections in 1996, in 5,000 years of Chinese history.

[Page: H10156]

[TIME: 2015]

The People's Republic of China, the government run by the Communist Party in Beijing, is fond of saying that Taiwan is but a province of China, it is part of China. If that is so, then we in America should reward the progress that democracy is making in Taiwan.

We, in America, should look favorably upon this, and we should look with grave concern upon any effort by the largest standing military on Earth, the People's Liberation Army, to use force to prevent democracy in Taiwan, and that is exactly what went on in 1995 when missiles were launched in order to intimidate the electorate. When that preceded in 1996, when 150,000 troops were amassed in Fujian Province right on the border of the Taiwan Strait, 220 fighter aircraft, and when the effect of launching the missiles was to blockade, effectively, the entire island, both ends of the Island of Taiwan and interfere not just with Taiwan's shipping, but with the United States, to interfere with commercial shipping, to interfere with commercial air travel by the United States, we took it very, very seriously, and we also responded here in the Congress.

The United States House of Representatives moved a very pointed resolution on the floor of this House that I introduced, the Policy Committee prepared, that stated that if the People's Republic of China should try to invade the Island of Taiwan by force, without provocation to attack Taiwan, then the United States would defend Taiwan, and that resolution passed this House of Representatives with 435 Members, with only 14 votes against.

It was a strong and clear statement, a strong and clear statement in response to what theretofore had been the Clinton administration's utterly ambiguous policy. In fact, the Clinton administration called their policy strategic ambiguity. But abandoning immediately their policy of so-called strategic ambiguity in the teeth of this very, very clear statement from the United States Congress within days of the passage of our resolution, stating clearly that if, without provocation, the People's Republic of China would attack the Island of Taiwan, the administration sent two carrier battle groups into the Taiwan Strait, a clear show of support for the democratic elections that were about to take place on the Island of Taiwan. And within days of that measure, the People's Republic of China canceled the scheduled balance of their military exercises of the missile test and called off the blockade.

The scheduled presidential elections, the first ever in 5,000 years of Chinese history, took place on schedule. The months following have been peaceful. That is all to the good.

But it is ironic that the Clinton administration described its own policy of strategic ambiguity when that would be my criticism of it. How is the government in Beijing to know what would be the United States response if they did attack, and why would we want them to be in the dark about that? We were risking war through weakness, rather than advancing a policy of peace through strength.

The missile threat to Taiwan is very, very clear. That is why our policy of cooperating with them on theater missile defense is the right policy, and that is why congressional leadership on this issue remains important.

What this bill seeks is very simple, a study by the Defense Department, by the Clinton Defense Department, of an appropriate defensive system for the Asia Pacific region. There is a July 1, 1998 reporting date back to the Congress, and the Clinton administration will make its own determination in that report to Congress whether or not an adequate missile defense, adequate to the new threats, the very real and existing threats that Taiwan now faces, is available for sale to Taiwan, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, and in fact, that is the language of the bill itself.

That is what this bill does. It is utterly reasonable, and because this Congress has so strongly in the past supported the Taiwan Relations Act, made it clear to the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party in Beijing that aggression is no way to deal with the cross-strait problems, it is important that we not back away from that tonight. It is important that we vote in favor of this legislation, because the peace of the strait depends upon it, because the peace of Asia and the Pacific depend upon it, and the peace of the world depend upon it.

I congratulate the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] for bringing this bill to the floor, and I congratulate its author, the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter].

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California [Mr. Cox] for his concluding remarks, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore [Mr. Blunt]. Pursuant to House Resolution 302, the previous question is ordered on the bill, as amended.

The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was read the third time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.

The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 301, nays 116, not voting 16, as follows:

Roll No. 601

[Roll No. 601]

YEAS--301

[Page: H10157]

NAYS--116

NOT VOTING--16

[TIME: 2043]

The Clerk announced the following pair:

On this vote:

Mr. Riley for, with Ms. McKinney against.

Messrs. RUSH, HOYER, DELAHUNT, WYNN, HINCHEY, and MOAKLEY, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. CARDIN, and Mr. DOGGETT changed their vote from `aye' to `no.'

Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr. STRICKLAND, and Mr. NADLER changed their vote from `no' to `aye.'

So the bill was passed.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

MOTION TO RECONSIDER THE VOTE OFFERED BY MR. PALLONE

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I move to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

MOTION TO TABLE OFFERED BY MR. BEREUTER

Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I move to lay on the table the motion to reconsider.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter] to lay on the table the motion to reconsider offered by the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Pallone].

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

RECORDED VOTE

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 245, noes 175, not voting 13, as follows:

Roll No. 602

[Roll No. 602]

AYES--245

NOES--175

[Page: H10158]

NOT VOTING--13

[TIME: 2103]

Mr. GUTIERREZ changed his vote from `aye' to `no.'

So the motion to table the motion to reconsider was agreed to.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

END