Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Arms sales to Taiwan, China responds rightfully by canceling and postponing military exchanges with US

By China Watcher

There is a common saying that you cannot have both the cakes and enjoy eating it as well. The double-faced US, self-appointed supreme power of the world, in its normal unilateral way arrogantly informed other nation that this is the only deal on the table, “Take it or leave it”. And of course, the US would use its own standards to justify its decision in order to show that it is listening and that it is the best course of solution for everyone. Most of the reasoning has more to do with protecting US interest. So it is just a lot of cocky stories.

In response to the Pentagon proposed arm sales to Taiwan worth US$6.5 billion for US Congress notification, the Chinese has responded within its authority to cancel or postpone several military exchanges with the United States. This would comprise senior officials level visits and exchanges involving humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief issues that had been scheduled to take place before the end of November.

A high ranked US official commented that the Chinese reaction is unfortunate and these may results in missed opportunities. I would not give a damn of missed opportunities. This is more to do with the respect of Chinese sovereign rights over Taiwan and the US had so many times mentioned insincerely that there is only one China but promoting actions that is the opposite. So how could you trust the US?

The US is the only country in the world who still feels remorseful for “betraying the Taiwanese” when it officially recognized the People Republic of China in 1979. To placate itself of being a “traitor” it passed a controversial Taiwan Relations Act to tell the US residents that while it recognized a “communist” government it is under an obligation to protect Taiwan (or US interest in Asia). But the Act runs counter to the Joint Communiqués signed between the US and China to establish diplomatic linkages and relationship between the people of both countries.

Do you think the Chinese government can accept this? Obviously not and so far, the Chinese can only protest and make its voices heard across the Pacific but as it gets stronger and more influential, and the US is getting weaker, we’ll see whether the double-faced US can really hold its ground based on the US-Taiwan Relations Act. By the way, the US is the ONLY country which still sells weapons to Taiwan and also, the ONLY country which has a unilateral act as the Taiwan Relations Act. I believe no other trustworthy country in the world who has established genuine diplomatic relationship with China would act this way.

The selling of weapons to a state of which a country has sovereign right is like giving a gun to a disobedient kid who has a highly disciplined father so that the parent will not be able to reconcile with the liberal son even though the father has many times said he will only use the cane if the son follows the step-father.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the package includes 330 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and associated equipment worth up to 3.1 billion dollars. The advanced missile defense system has never been sold to Taiwan before. The Pentagon is also proposing selling Taiwan 30 AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire missiles to beef up its anti-armor capabilities, and for close air support of its ground forces. Are the helicopters defensive in nature?

In the proposal it mentioned that Taiwan has requested to buy 31 UGM-84L submarine-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 182 Javelin guided missiles with 20 Javelin command launch units. The missiles are portable anti-tank weapons.

The Chinese side had already sternly warned the US of the impending arms sales which would affect bilateral relationship and it is of no surprise that the Chinese military has temporary called off all military exchanges with the US.

To address common security challenges, it is important to build trust between the two powerful militaries but the selling of arms to a province which is recognized as a part of China, it actually creates more mistrusts.

Besides, the usage of the Act, the US has also tried to justify its sales by saying that China’s military expansion leads other to hedge and one way is to arm its allies. But it will come a time even if a country’s hedges, would this be sufficient to prevent an outright invasion if there is no intervention from a bigger power. Historically, small nations are swallowed by bigger and stronger nations and the course and outcome of war is still the same. China is a big country and in 20 years’ time, hedging against an invasion would be useless. Even the Pentagon think-tank knows about it but they are still pushing sales trying to build comfort and misleading the American public. Personally, to deal with a potential superpower, it is important to build trust with the Chinese military and getting them more involved responsibly in international security programs.

The Western media always end its article with the words that Taiwan and the mainland have been governed separately since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing sees the island as part of its territory that is awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The majority of the countries who have established diplomatic status with China recognized that there is only one China and that China has sovereign rights over Taiwan but why must the media continually emphasize that only Beijing sees it as part of its territory and not them. Are the media implying that these countries do not recognize Beijing’s right over Taiwan? This is why I have over the years become less trustful of western news agencies because of its hidden anti-China crusade.

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