A Taiwan soldier on maneuvers in a locally-made tank: Democratic

Taiwan, trapped in a Cold War time warp, continues to struggle to

maintain democracy while engaging the authoritarian behemoth

across the Taiwan Strait.



Taiwan News, Taiwan

Inadequate U.S. Weapons Deal Shows Failure of Taiwan President


"President Ma's consistent policy of satisfying the demands of our bullying neighbor has purchased only contempt from the PRC and has indicated to the global community that Taiwan believes in the inevitability if its eventual annexation by authoritarian China."




February 4, 2010


Taiwan - The Taiwan News - Original Article (English)

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou: In what may be the hardest job in the democratic world, he must accept American military aid to deter an invasion by the mainland, while protecting the interests of 23 million Taiwanese, many of whom do business in authoritarian China.


RUSSIA TODAY NEWS VIDEO: Faceoff between U.S. and China over Taiwan weapons deal, Feb. 3, 00:05:51RealVideo

Upon his return from a six-day visit to Honduras, the Dominican Republic and the United States, President Ma Ying-jeou said that the successful completion of his "missions" had shown the correctness of his strategy of a "diplomatic truce" with the People's Republic of China, and the rebuilding of "trust" with Washington through adopting a low-profile.


Ma, who is also chairman of the rightist ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), also confirmed U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to notify Congress about a $6.4 billion package of defensive weapons for Taiwan.


In addition to bolstering Taiwan's self-defense capability, the president said the new defense systems would permit Taiwan greater confidence in engaging the authoritarian People's Republic of China, which has deployed over 1,500 missiles and other offensive forces on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.


Unfortunately, the nature of the weapons package and the furious reaction of the Communist Party-ruled PRC have torn away the fig leaf from such absurdly optimistic notions.


First, it should be noted that the "new" package, which includes 60 Black Hawk helicopters, two Osprey-class minesweepers, Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) anti-missile missiles, a few Harpoon missiles and advanced software for "C4ISR" command and intelligence systems, only satisfies part of an US$11 billion arms package originally pledged to Taiwan in 2001by Republican President George W. Bush.


However, the procurement package doesn't include systems Taiwan urgently needs to balance the rapidly expanding and fast upgrading PRC, notably advanced F-16 C/D Block jet fighters, AEGIS-class frigates and conventional submarines.


Ironically, Washington's selection of defensive weapons to sell Taiwan may have been influenced by Ma's change of strategic concept, from preparing for a "decisive battle outside of our territory," which is a forward defense posture based on local air and naval superiority, to "determined defense and effective deterrence," which envisions an army-based defense on Taiwanese soil.


Combined with Ma's tacit acceptance of Beijing's "one China principle," the Kuomintang government's new strategy may have discouraged Washington from providing more sophisticated weaponry by indicating to the global community that Taiwan believes in the inevitability if its eventual annexation by a "rising China."




Taipei Times, Taiwan: We Taiwanese 'Must Risk Our Lives' for Freedom

Taiwan News: Inadequate U.S. Arms Deal Shows Failure of Taiwan President

Global Times, China: U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan 'Not Necessarily Bad'

Die Tageszeitung, Germany: Taiwan Arms Sales a Gut Check for U.S.

Rceczpospolita, Poland: China Feels Her Oats at America's Expense

China Daily, China: U.S. Weapons Sale to Taiwan will 'Sour Ties'

Taiwan News, Taiwan: Taiwan Leader Welcomes American Weapons Deal


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Moreover, Beijing's overreaction to Obama's decision, including the rupture of Sino-American military exchanges and threats to impose sanctions on U.S. companies, may well be calculated to draw a red line in order to block Washington from selling F-16 C/D jets, AEGIS frigates or conventional submarines to Taiwan in the future.



The PRC's fierce condemnation of the sale of this inadequate package of defensive weaponry also explodes the myth behind President Ma's much-touted "reconciliation" policy toward Beijing. It demonstrates again that the communist regime hasn't in the slightest modified its insistence that Taiwan is part of the PRC, and that the "final solution" of the "Taiwan question" is a matter of PRC "domestic policy" that brooks no "international interference."


Ma's consistent policy of satisfying the demands of our bullying neighbor has purchased only contempt from the PRC, while it has mislead the international community into believing that Taiwan's elected government and people may indeed accept Taiwan as part of "China" or even the PRC. This can be shown by how Taiwan is increasing identified as "Taiwan (China)" on the Web pages of even humanitarian non-governmental organizations, such as Relief International.


Moreover, Ma's timidity is already being replicated by local media. Taiwan editorial comment is more often about calling for the adoption of an even more "cautious" stance "to avoid becoming a direct target" of Beijing's ire, and to make additional concessions on the controversial "cross-strait economic cooperation agreement," rather than standing up for our rights as a democratic and independent state.


In sum, Ma's refusal to stand on the foundations laid by former presidents Lee Tung-hui [KMT] and Chen Shui-bian [Democratic Progressive Party], in regard to Taiwan's actual legal status as an independent and democratic constitutional state, and his tacit acceptance of Beijing's "great China nationalism," has disarmed Taiwan. It has undermined defense against PRC annexation and the credibility of our nation's status as a distinct democratic member of the global community.  



As Taiwan's democratically-elected president, Ma is obliged to ensure the national security and interests of Taiwan's 23 million citizens. He has no mandate to resuscitate his party's "great China" dream or deny our 23 million people the right to democratic self-determination by arbitrarily deciding that Taiwan's future is a matter for "the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to decide."


The pursuit of normal relations with China must not be twisted into a justification for the surrender of Taiwan's hard-won democracy and prosperity.


Instead, Ma should remind the global community that Taiwan is part of the global democratic alliance against authoritarianism, is resolved to seek peace in democracy and dignity - and not at their expense. He should intensify efforts to persuade Washington and other world capitals that Taiwan is committed to defending our democratic way of life, and therefore needs the self-defense capability necessary to dissuade communist China from adventurism.

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US February 4, 7:45pm]


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