By Zhang Mengxu and Lei Lei
The United States announced its latest arms sales package to Taiwan on September 24. Taiwan’s "Presidential Office", "Defense Ministry" and "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" immediately expressed their gratitude in unison –“Thanks to the US government for attaching importance to Taiwan’s defense and security.”
In fact, the proposed $330-million package is inconspicuous compared with other US arms sales of recent years; the goods exported from the United States are just parts and accessories for some fighter aircraft, rather than high-tech weaponry.
The island of Taiwan’s media bluntly noted, “If the US side says the US arms sales package has upgraded the air defense ability for Taiwan, it highly exaggerates”; this arms sales package’s “political consideration outweighs its military significance.”
Since the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relationship, such US action seriously damages ties between China and US and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
On September 25, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) strongly urged the US to immediately revoke its planned arms sales to Taiwan.
Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for China’s MND, stated on Tuesday, with regard to the US announcement of the arms sales package to Taiwan, that the Chinese military expresses its strong displeasure over and resolute opposition to this action, making solemn representations to the US.
It strongly urges the US to immediately withdraw their arms sales programs to Taiwan, and stop selling arms to and cut off military contacts with Taiwan, in order to avoid further undermining China-US military ties, and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), also said on the 25th that, the US arms sales to Taiwan seriously violate international law and the basic norms that govern international relations, while at the same time seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués, undermining China’s sovereignty and security. The Chinese side expressed strong displeasure with and resolute opposition to the US plan to sell arms to Taiwan, and has already made formal representations to the US.
“The current US government’s China strategy is the most radical in decades – and it’s failing,” headlines US media company Vox: “The US started a trade war expressly intended to cripple China’s economy, it increased support for Taiwan, disinvited China’s navy from participating in a major international military exercise. The goal is to squeeze China so hard that it finally decides to play by the rules once and for all. But so far, it’s not working, because China has started to fight back.”
Some US experts believe that, alongside the pressure imposed on Beijing, the Trump administration has also begun to send signals indicating a US rethinking on the one-China policy.
Marvin Ott, a researcher at the US Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), published an article saying, as part of the pressure imposed on China, “the Trump administration has begun to signal rethinking of ‘one-China’ policy for the first time, since the 1950s, Taiwan may move to ‘center stage’ in the contest for the future of Asia.”.
In this regard, some Taiwan media have become worried that, with increasingly complex and sensitive China-US relationship, the “Taiwan card” would be played more and more frequently, encouraging certain “Taiwan independence” forces on the island to get rather caught up in the illusion that “Taiwan-US relations have entered into an optimal stage in history.”
Pang Jianguo, professor at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said that, after 40 years of reform and opening-up and nearly 30 years after the end of the Cold War, cross-Strait relations and relations between China, the US and Taiwan have undergone fundamental changes; Taiwan should no longer remain trapped in the Cold War mentality, and should not cooperate with the United States in playing the “Taiwan card.”
Disclaimer: The authors are Zhang Mengxu and Lei Lei with the Global Times. The article is translated and edited from Chinese into English by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the authors from the Global Times and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.