Military Aviation > Air Forces

US stirs the pot


F-111 C/C:
WASHINGTON— In a move sure to aggravate China, the Obama administration announced on Friday plans for more than $6 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, the self-governing island the Chinese claim as their own.

The sale would include Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot missiles, mine-hunting ships and information technology. Lawmakers have 30 days to comment before the plan proceeds; senior lawmakers have traditionally supported arms sales to Taiwan.

Taiwan is the most sensitive matter in already-tense relations between the U.S. and China, two powers increasingly linked by security and economic issues. The sale could spark a temporary break in U.S.-China military ties.

China vehemently opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. It has threatened to invade Taiwan should the island ever formalize its de facto independence.

The United States is Taiwan's most important ally and largest arms supplier.

The package, posted on a Pentagon Web site, dodges one thorny issue: the F-16 fighter jets that Taiwan covets are not included.

The sale satisfies parts of an $11 billion arms package originally pledged to Taiwan by former President George W. Bush in 2001, which has been provided in stages because of political and budgetary considerations in Taiwan and the United States.

The arms sale will test the Obama administration's China policy, which U.S. officials say is meant to improve trust between the countries, so that the inevitable disagreements over Taiwan or Tibet don't reverse efforts to cooperate on nuclear standoffs in Iran and North Korea and other issues.

China aims more than 1,000 ballistic missiles at Taiwan; the U.S. government is bound by law to ensure the island is able to respond to Chinese threats.

The package includes 114 Patriot missiles designed to shoot down other missiles, 60 Black Hawk helicopters, and two mine-hunting ships.

F-111 C/C:
Not surprisingly, here's China's response:

Published: Sun January 31st, 2010
Source: Voice of America
China said it will suspend military exchanges and security talks with the United States and threatens to halt cooperation on other issues because of the U.S. plan to sell arms to rival Taiwan.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Saturday and warned of "serious repercussions" on U.S-China relations from Washington's decision to sell $6.4 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan.

He said that Beijing considered the decision, announced Friday, as an interference in its domestic affairs and that it could jeopardize Sino-U.S. cooperation on international and regional issues. China and the U.S., for example, have been working together in international efforts to get North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs.

Jin Canrong, international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing said China will certainly make the U.S pay for its weapon sales to Taiwan more than before. He said eventually, the U.S will not be able to endure the price of their action.

In addition, Beijing also threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. companies that sell military equipment to Taiwan.

China has always opposed any U.S. arms sale to rival Taiwan, but its reaction Saturday is one of the toughest in recent years. In 2008, it also cut off military ties with the U.S. after a similar deal.

Under the Taiwan Relations Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1979, the U.S. promised to help defend the island.

The latest arms package includes Black Hawk helicopters, advanced Patriot surface-to-air missiles and two refurbished Osprey-class mine-hunting ships but does not contain F-16 fighter jets requested by Taiwan.

Meanwhile in Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou said the weapons sale decision will help Taiwan's defenses and be an "effective deterrence" that would allow Taiwan to have more confidence and a sense of security. The sale comes amid improving Cross-Strait relations, with increased economic ties between the two rivals.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory which must be eventually reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

The United States has a treaty commitment to help the island with defense.

The U.S. Congress has 30 days to comment on the proposed sale before it becomes finalized.

shawn a:
I welcome the "serious repercussions", so I can look at my shoes and see "made in the USA" on the label. I feel china is untrustworthy and arrogant, and you youngsters out there remember this post--china and the USA will go to war over Taiwan. It will be ugly. and it will be because of china's greed.
Shawn A.

F-111 C/C:
Hey Ol' Man, where ya been!? Good to hear from you again :) :)


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