Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990 [April 5, 2006]   [open pdf - 215KB]

"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. […] Several policy issues are of concern to Congress for legislation, oversight, or other action. One issue concerns the effectiveness of the Administration in applying leverage to improve Taiwan's self-defense as well as to maintain peace and stability. Another issue is the role of Congress in determining security assistance, defense commitments, or policy reviews. A third issue concerns whether trends in the Taiwan Strait are stabilizing or destabilizing and how the Administration's management of policy has affected these trends. The fundamental issue is whether the United States would go to war with China and how conflict might be prevented. In December 2005, the House agreed to the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163), after receding on two provisions that would have directed U.S. flag and general officers and senior defense officials to visit Taiwan. The Senate's bill did not have this language."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30957
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