By Patrick Brogan
In a move that will surely strain already taut US-Sino relations, the US is planning to sell $1.42 billion worth of weaponry to Taiwan, also referred to as the Republic of China. China still sees Taiwan as part of its property under its one-China policy.
The Taiwanese separated from the mainland when Chairman Mao was rising to power. His enemies fled and re-established the Republic of China on the island 100 miles across the Taiwan Straight.
President Trump has had a rocky relation with China. Initially, he was very critical of the US trade deals with Beijing, but then seemed to soften his approach after meeting President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. This deal would seem to contradict this receptive meeting.
The current President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, is the leader of the nationalist-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. She said; “Only by actively preparing for battle can the battle be stopped. Only with our own strength can peace be maintained.”
President Obama also sold arms to Taiwan. This was part of a larger strategic operation. The plan appears to hem in China as NATO has done with Russia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a counter measure. The organisation is made up of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with India and Pakistan fastly approaching full membership status. This has been described as the region’s version of NATO.
The tension has been going up in many potential conflict areas around the world as well the regions openly at war. This will do those tensions no good. The worry of a massive global conflict grows.
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