Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan

Kudos to the senators who urged President Trump on Friday to move ahead on delayed arms sales to Taiwan amid congressional concern the White House is ready to curry favor with Beijing at Taipei’s expense.

Four Republicans and four Democrats wrote a letter to Trump urging him to maintain firm U.S. support for Taiwan, including providing weapons it needs to defend itself against China, regardless of Washington’s diplomatic initiatives with Beijing. They issued a bipartisan appeal amid concern the White House is abandoning Taiwan to please China. In their letter to Trump, the senators said the United States also needed to consult closely with Taiwan as it will soon need major military hardware, including new fighter jets, submarines, missile defense and electronic warfare systems.

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Taiwan is an important ally and the Trump administration needs to do everything possible to make sure that it remains that way. Former President Ronald Reagan issued the “six assurances” in 1982, stipulating that the U.S. will not set an end date to arms sales to Taiwan, would not alter the Taiwan Relations Act, would not hold consultations with China over arms sales to Taiwan, would not mediate between Taiwan and China, would not pressure Taiwan to negotiate with China and would not formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. The Trump administration must end the practice of putting off U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and bundling them in a package at more convenient political moments. The arms sales should proceed at a regular and routine pace without trying to finely calibrate the timing. 

The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Toward that end, the United States must support and encourage improvements in cross-Strait relations, albeit at a pace acceptable to the people on both sides. Strong United States support for Taiwan autonomy also helps give 23 million people in Taiwan the confidence to strengthen their cross-Strait relations. Taiwan’s democracy is incredibly important to the region as a guidepost for other nations to follow. 

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From Kent Wang, research fellow at the Institute for Taiwan-America Studies, Washington, D.C. 


Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE’s dishonorable request for housing allowance

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) call for a $2,500 per month housing allowance for members of Congress. Granted, the last time I looked was two years ago, but I doubt much has changed since then. Here are the facts about our poor lawmakers:

First, the median net worth of a member of Congress is more than $1 million, compared to an average American household’s median net worth of about $60,000. And second, the majority of members in Congress are millionaires. 

People who run for the House and Senate know ahead of time how much it takes to live in Washington. This is why some lawmakers ask their colleagues to be roommates. Why would taxpayers need to underwrite their representative’s monthly living expenses? We already help pay for their staff, travel, mailings and district offices to the tune of $1 million a year.

It’s an honor to serve in Congress. It’s dishonorable to ask hard working Americans to pay for their monthly rent.

From Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.