Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Friday, Dec. 4, 2015

Arms sales to Taiwan hinder Sino-US ties

(Global Times)    08:12, December 04, 2015

The US government may notify Congress later this month of its plan to sell $1 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan. Reports related to this have been constantly emerging in the US media lately, which might be a hint dropped by the US government that the country's arms sales to Taiwan are like an arrow on a bowstring.

The US selling weapons to Taiwan is a repetition of the same old problem in the Sino-US relationship, which flares up every once in a while. The Taiwan question involves China's core interests, and China has always resolutely opposed Washington's arms sales to Taiwan. Over the years, arms sales to Taiwan have been the strongest destructive power in Sino-US ties, and have severely poisoned the military exchanges between the two sides.

In terms of arms sales to Taiwan, the US believes that as The Taiwan Relations Actstipulates, it can sell weapons as and when it feels right without any discussion with China. However, Beijing's objection against it works. In recent years, the frequency of US arms sales has declined, with the scale of deals gradually shrinking. And it hasn't sold F-16 jets to the island for quite some time. There were discussions over selling submarines, but it didn't happen in the end.

Changes have taken place in the pattern of Beijing-Washington relationship over the past few years. The situation across the Taiwan Straits is also no longer what it was. The US always uses "maintaining balance across the Straits" as an excuse for selling arms. Yet the gap in military power between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan is actually widening, and the People's Liberation Army has gained the overwhelming advantage. It is no longer possible to reconstitute the "military balance across the Straits," no matter how many arms the US sells to the island.

Given this mismatched economic power, Taiwan has only a limited military budget, and thus cannot afford to take much money out of its pocket to purchase top weapons systems to counter the mainland.

So far, arms sales to Taiwan can only bring the US a little profit. It is more like a political bond to stay close to the island, with decreasing military significance.

As a matter of how sincerely Washington acknowledges the one-China policy, and how much respect it has toward China's core interests, there should be no such sales at all in the future. China has access to a growing number of resources and measures to compete with the US. Every time Washington provides military equipment to Taiwan, even if it is only so much as a screw, China will make the US pay for it, and will eventually force it to bid goodbye to any arms sales to the island once and for all.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

Add your comment

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words