January 31, 2000
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1838 because it would seriously
diminish Taiwan's security and undermine the important U.S. objective of
stability in Asia. If H.R. 1838 were presented to the President in its
current form, his senior advisers would recommend that it be vetoed.
This bill would mandate a number of new security and military arrangements with Taiwan that could create dangerous, false, and inaccurate expectations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Movement toward a more formal military relationship also could have other serious unintended negative consequences, such as diminishing prospects for cross-Strait dialogue and the peaceful resolution of differences. In addition, several of the bill's provisions (sections 4(b), 5(b), and 5(d)) raise constitutional concerns because they interfere with the President's broad authority to control the disclosure of information about foreign negotiations and other sensitive national security and foreign relations information, his authority as Commander-in-Chief, and his ability to carry out his responsibilities for the conduct of the nation's foreign relations.
The Administration remains firmly committed to fulfilling the security and arms transfer provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, which helps to ensure the security of Taiwan. At the same time, we continue to press the People's Republic of China to exercise restraint on military deployments, make progress in cross-Strait dialogue, and initiate confidence-building measures with Taiwan.