"This report, updated as warranted, discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), P.L. 96-8, has governed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan since 1979, when the United States recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) instead of the ROC. Two other relevant parts of the 'one China' policy are the August 17, 1982, U.S.-PRC Joint Communique and the 'Six Assurances' made to Taiwan. U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have been significant. In addition, the United States has expanded military ties with Taiwan after the PRC's missile firings in 1995-1996. However, there is no defense treaty or alliance with Taiwan. At the U.S.-Taiwan arms sales talks on April 24, 2001, President George W. Bush approved for possible sale diesel-electric submarines, P-3 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft (linked to the submarine sale), four decommissioned U.S. Kidd-class destroyers, and other items. Bush also deferred decisions on Aegisequipped destroyers and other items, while denying other requests. Since then, attention has turned to Taiwan, where the military, civilian officials, and legislators from competing political parties have debated contentious issues about how much to spend on defense and which U.S. weapons systems to acquire, despite the increasing threat (including a missile buildup) from the People's Liberation Army (PLA), as described in the Pentagon's reports to Congress on PRC military power. In February 2003, the Administration pointed Taiwan to three priorities for defense: command and control, missile defense, and ASW."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30957