Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Taiwan Problem

The United States Congress will be faced with a request to purchase 66 F-16 C/D fighters that many analysts expect them to turn down. Still it puts directly in the spotlight the complex dilemma the U.S. faces in Taiwan. In 1979, America signed the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character. China can claim that we violate the Third Communiqué signed with them in 1992 that basically restricted U.S. arms sales to nothing greater than those approved in recent years.

 Amid this backdrop, the Chinese military has expanded rapidly, providing a greater threat to Taiwan. Meanwhile, China is a chief holder of U.S. Debt. Adding another wrinkle, under the KMT government China-Taiwan relations have improved, but could be overturned in January’s elections. Source:

There are several options 1. Retrofitting of previously purchased 1992 weapons (most likely), 2.we could give Taiwan a lesser order of new weaponry at risk of irritating our debt holder. 3.But if we don’t give them anything, than we may be leading them to slaughter given China’s military rise as we may not be able to help them.

The question is hard, but considering that the threat they face depends on who governs them, I would give Taiwan a smaller quantity of the newer weapons, as they are facing a potentially hostile neighbor with some of the best weapons in the world. This way, you still hold your agreement with Taiwan because they have weapons, while you can go back to China and claim that you haven’t violated your agreement with them.

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