Obama Sells Out Taiwan
September 30, 2011 1 Comment
See update below: Has the Obama administration effectively taken control of Taiwan’s defence budget? Why not just trust them to know what they need.
Hopefully Obama will be kicked out next year and America can return to its true values — standing up for its friends and against its enemies.
“So while the U.S. is willing to sell technologically advanced fighter jets to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, and other Asia-Pacific nations that feel threatened by China, Taiwan remains an unexplainable exception.
“We can see the U.S. abandoning its commitment to Taiwan,” said one senior U.S. defense industry executive told me. “It’s really criminal.” Another told me his peers all project that this is the last major blow before “Taiwan goes down the tubes.”
A NATO diplomat in Beijing told me last month that Washington does not understand the significance of what happens with Taiwan. “That little island is the line in the sand,” he said. Sadly, it is Taiwan with its carrier-killer missile that is daring China to cross that line—and not the U.S.”
Taiwan’s Aircraft Carrier Killer
The Obama administration has established a new (even lower) standard for kowtowing to Beijing. In the first instance, the White House has decided against selling Taiwan 66 new F-16s the government in Taipei has been asking for over the last few years. With an aging inventory of Taiwan air force fighters and the continued buildup of Chinese advanced air defenses, fighters, and fighter-bombers, the sale was absolutely essential if the deteriorating air balance over the Taiwan Strait was to be addressed.
Ignoring his legal obligations under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military equipment it needs to maintain its self-defense capabilities, the president has allowed Chinese threats of a rough patch in relations to dictate American – security policy.
The second matter was the backgrounder given to the Financial Times last Thursday in which “a senior U.S. official” trashed Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of Taiwan’s opposition party, the Democratic Progressives, and its candidate in this winter’s presidential election.
“She left us with distinct doubts about whether she is both willing and able to continue the stability in cross-Strait relations the region has enjoyed in recent years,” the official told the Financial Times after Tsai met with administration officials, knowing full well that this would be read back in Taiwan as a sign that, if the Taiwanese people want continued help from the United States, they had better not choose her to be their next president.
You don’t get much more blatant than this in trying to interfere in the elections of -another democratic country. And, again, all in the name of trying to assuage Chinese Communist “worries” that an independent, sovereign, and democratic Taiwan might choose to be headed by someone who believes that -Taiwan should not be thought of as a province of the People’s Republic.
Selling Out Taiwan, Again
“America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, “We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends.”
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“For those hoping to get a confirmable job in some future Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney administration, today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing is a good reminder of why it’s best to get that job earlier rather than later. Attempting to get confirmed for a position in an area that already has a legacy of policy decisions can be a tough business—especially when the policy is as flawed as the Obama team’s when it comes to Taiwan.
Just take a look at the grilling Sen. John Cornyn (R, Texas) gave Mark Lippert, nominee to be assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, this morning on Taiwan’s request to purchase new F-16 C/D aircraft. The senator from Texas starts by making a compelling case that Taiwan is in need of new fighters in the face of China’s military buildup and Taiwan’s own rapidly aging inventory of jets. And, by failing to provide those planes, the White House is ignoring the explicit statutory mandate of the Taiwan Relations Act, which requires the U.S. to make available to the island what it needs to defend itself. With a weak policy hand to play, Lippert is reduced to repeating the usual bromides about “one China” and existing “communiqués.”
Cornyn’s closing question—“Why are we managing Taiwan’s defense budget?”—left Lippert with the quizzical, slightly dumbfounded look of “what the heck are you asking?” The senator then goes in for the kill: “When Taiwan is ready to pay cash for American exported military aircraft, why would we deny them that ability…is there any rationale you can see from either a commercial or national security perspective why we would deny Taiwan those aircraft?” Good question. To which Lippert and the administration have no answer—or at least one they are willing publicly to say.”
Tough Time Explaining Taiwan Policy
Hearing – Cornyn Questions DOD Nominee on F-16 Sales to Tawain – 11-17-11
UPDATE: April 30, 2012 (4:30 AM GMT) Obama forced to rethink Taiwan jets.
Taiwan said it welcomed the pledge by the United States to reconsider a proposed sale of new fighter jets to the island, a defence deal likely to upset Beijing.
Taiwan has been pushing for the purchase of 66 new US-made F-16 fighter jets, but the deal has been stalled by Washington.
The White House on Friday promised “serious consideration” to selling the jets in the wake of “the growing military threat to Taiwan”.
“Taiwan welcome any projects that will help enhance and strengthen our self-defence capabilities,” Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman David Lo said on Sunday, declining to elaborate on the sensitive issue.
Under US law, the administration is required to provide for the self-defence of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that China claims as its territory.
Washington announced in September it would equip Taiwan’s 146 F-16 A/B jets with new technologies, in a $5.85 billion deal which falls short of the island’s fervent wish for 66 new F-16 C/Ds.
Although the package was less than what Taiwan had hoped for, it triggered an angry response from China, which warned that the deal would damage Sino-US military ties.
Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have eased markedly since 2008 when Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power on platform of beefing up trade and tourism links with China.
Yet China still considers it part of its territory and has threatened to invade Taiwan even though the island has ruled itself for more than 60 years at the end of a civil war in 1949.
Taiwan welcomes US reconsideration on jet sale