As a Taiwanese American, I think David Lampton ["The Taiwan Security Reduction Act," op-ed, Oct. 30] has it backward.

The Taiwan Security Enhancement Act is a long-overdue piece of bipartisan legislation. It is in response to President Clinton's drift toward positions espoused by Beijing and away from the basic principles of democracy and human rights.

China has continued to threaten and bully Taiwan and has increased its preparations to go to war over Taiwan. Congress is now attempting to redress the security situation in Taiwan by establishing direct military communications between the United States and Taiwan, expanding U.S. training of Taiwanese military officers and selling U.S. defense articles and services to the island nation.

Mr. Lampton argues that this legislation is unnecessary because -- within the framework of the Taiwan Relations Act -- the president already has the legal authority to sell Taiwan the weapons it needs.

That is precisely where the problem is: The Clinton administration has hemmed and hawed when decisions needed to be made on new defensive weapon systems for Taiwan and has remained silent about the buildup of missiles on the Chinese coast facing Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act has fallen short on a number of points, and the proposed Taiwan Security Enhancement Act would be a welcome safeguard, ensuring stability in East Asia.



International Committee for

Human Rights in Taiwan

Chevy Chase