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U.S. sells arms to Taiwan, yet again

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-23-2015 16:40 BJT

By Han Xudong, National Defence University

The United States, the only remaining superpower in the world, continues to act strangely. Washington astonished the world, by agreeing to sell weapons to Taiwan. So, let’s take U.S. characteristics into consideration to understand their decision.


Arms sales to Taiwan represent American hegemony. In Jan. 1, 1979, Beijing and Washington had established diplomatic relations with both sides respecting each other’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China and the U.S. had issued three joint communiques after setting up diplomatic relations to handle U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.

Taiwan is an area within the limits of Chinese national jurisdiction, but Washington had insisted on arms sales to Taiwan, regardless of circumstances.

Apparently, only the US believes they have the right to demand respect for national sovereignty; proclaiming itself a sovereignty moralist, while castigating other countries when they are perceived as trampling on the sovereignty of others.

After the Cold War, Washington had enhanced its military relations with Beijing by expanding bilateral military communication channels. Nevertheless, Washington had continued selling arms to an area within the limits of Chinese national jurisdiction.

So, how can we read Washington's sincerity to defend peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region?

U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have proven Washington's persistence on a Cold War mentality. Washington needs to sell arms to Taiwan to build a so-called first island chain in the Asia-Pacific region.

After the Cold War, the U.S. kept selling arms to Taiwan to maintain its American weaponry presence in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

The US pivot to Asia is just a scheme to continue on with Cold War thinking.  Washington is selling arms to Taiwan to develop its military weaponry manufacturing sector, since those companies have become a pillar for the US economy.

Washington has enlarged its share of the international arms market. The revenue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan has topped USD 1.83 billion to stimulate its sluggish economy.

Additionally, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are a consequence of domestic political gamesmanship. The US Presidential Election will occur in November next year, and the Democrat and Republican parties are fighting for voters’ hearts.

Both parties use arms sales to Taiwan as an important chip to gain public support. Outgoing US President Barack Obama had persisted on selling arms to Taiwan despite withering China-U.S. Relations.

He's hoping the Democrat Party nominee for President will win the White House. His actions demonstrate the selfishness of American politicians doing whatever it takes to stay in power.

Arms sales to Taiwan damage peace and stability across the Straits. In recent years, cross-Straits relations have remained calm due to joint efforts. Yet, the Taiwan issue acts as a strategic chip for Washington's bargaining powers over Beijing.

This is what the U.S. is unwilling to see. American persistence on arms sales to Taiwan would interfere with China’s domestic affairs, damage cross-Straits peaceful development, and keep the Taiwan issue under duress.

Beijing holds strong doubts that Washington really wants peace and stability in the cross-Straits and Asia-Pacific region.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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