OT (Overseas Topic) CHINA: Force warning rouses pro-Taiwan lobbyistsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Force warning rouses pro-Taiwan lobbyists
Thursday, February 24, 2000
ASSOCIATED PRESS in Washington
China's threatened use of force against Taiwan is rousing a lightly slumbering beast: Capitol Hill's substantial pro-Taiwan lobby.
That could spell trouble this spring for the Clinton administration's hopes of winning congressional action on legislation to expand trade ties with Beijing.
More immediately, it could build previously lacking Senate support for a measure passed by the House of Representatives to increase US military ties with Taiwan.
"Red China has escalated its threat of armed aggression against democratic Taiwan," declared Senator Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is one of the few members of Congress who still refers to the People's Republic of China by the "Red China" Cold War-era designation.
Senator Helms had planned a hearing for yesterday on the subject of defence aid to Taiwan, but at the last minute the administration declined to send a witness.
Although China opposes the Taiwan military aid bill and wants Congress to approve the China trade bill, its new threats on Taiwan could both undermine the market-opening accord and nurture support for the military legislation.
"I don't think China was thinking very clearly," said Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Senate, generally more cautious on foreign affairs than the House, had been expected to sit on the military legislation, allowing it to die what the Clinton administration hoped would be an unnoticed death. Now, however, passions have become inflamed anew.
"I was deeply distressed," Senator Tim Hutchinson, an Arkansas Republican, said in a Senate speech urging passage of the military co-operation bill. "It's almost as if they [China's leaders] have a visceral antipathy to freedom."
Published in the South China Morning Post. Copyright ) 2000. All rights reserved.
-- Possible Impact (email@example.com), February 23, 2000
Ship out some speed bumps.....
-- Joss Metadi (warhammer@Pride.of.Mandeyne), February 24, 2000.