Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Cause For Concern

Rumors are coming out of Washington that the Obama administration may be shifting their policy on Taiwan to that which would be less favorable to Taiwan. This is a continuation of the news over the past week or so since the ECFA has been signed that the U.S. may be halting (at least temporarily) arms sales to Taiwan. A Randy Schriver, formerly from inside the Dept of State at Washington has, "strongly hinted that it could result in a Taiwan arms sale freeze."

This is one of the problems that have come out of the ECFA signing that may not have been obvious to all parties involved. While the KMT side has heralded the ECFA as a purely economic arrangement without political motives, the CCP has made no mistake their intentions in using the ECFA as a means to an end (unification).

While the news of a potential "freeze" may not mean a permanent freeze, it would likely start something that could cascade into an era of relations with Taiwan where "freezes" are the norm, and the arms sales are few and far between. The Taiwan Relations Act stipulates that the U.S. policy in regards to Taiwan involves providing Taiwan with arms sales. This can not be changed as part of the Six Assurances given to Taiwan by Reagan. Therefore, please continue to write, e-mail, call, or fax to your senators and representatives about the need for Taiwan to procure defensive arms sales from the U.S.

Keep in mind though that these arms sales may not actually be used for actual use. What I mean by that is that these arms sales are more of a symbol of the United States continued support for Taiwan and as a deterrent against the P.R.C. Taiwan cannot negotiate with the P.R.C. from a position of weakness. And as we've seen in the past, the P.R.C. does take notice when they are responding to in force (95-96 Cross Straits Crisis).

I have posted this on my blog before, but here's a report on arms sales to Taiwan since the 1990s. Lots of background information about the past and current situation, including the flip-flop attitude that the KMT has shown about the arms sales. A must read for anyone interested in this topic.


Anonymous said...

Randy Shriver is no longer with the state department, but with a consulting company, along with (also former secretary of state) Richard Armitage. Both belonged to the Bush jr administration.

Richard said...

Indeed. I missed the "former" part of his background.