US arms sale to disrupt cross-Straits peace

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-18 0:03:01

Washington announced a $1.83 billion arms sale that includes two Perry-class Frigates to Taiwan in the early hours of Thursday. China's foreign ministry quickly responded with strong protests while bringing up the prospect of future sanctions against companies involved in the weapons deal.

This is the first major US arms sale to the island since 2011. Although the scale of this deal is smaller than previous ones, its nature is as evil as ever. 

The Chinese mainland's military power has long since gained overwhelming advantage against Taiwan. No matter how many weapons the US sells to it, the mismatched power structure across the Taiwan Straits won't be changed.

Perry-class frigates have already been retired from the US Navy. Instead of saying that this is merely an arms sale, it might be more precise to say that Taiwan is paying tribute to the US as well as begging for a protection commitment from Washington.

The US, on the one hand, is making a profit from Taiwan. On the other, it is encouraging the island to keep its mentality of using military muscle to safeguard its peace, strengthen the military confrontation across the Straits through arms sales, and suppressing the advocacy of maintaining peace through cross-Straits dialogue. The US is setting the scene of Chinese fighting against Chinese.

Taiwan is currently restricted financially, with its annual GDP only as much as the mainland's defense budget. Military confrontation against the mainland by Taiwan alone is never going to happen. Washington's protection pledge is the only card that the island has for its defense, and it is a weakening one.

Given the mainland's steadily growing military power, once the US gets involved in a conflict in the Taiwan Straits, it will face increasing costs and consequences.

Therefore, Taiwan needs a thorough change of mind-set over security, and must make genuine efforts toward establishing a long-lasting peace across the Straits. US protection is not reliable and holding on to its commitment will only misguide Taiwan itself.

The US is far away from Taiwan, but it wants to retain the island as a pawn in its strategy against China. For Taiwan, turning its back against the mainland, an economic and military giant, means huge strategic risks.

Taiwan's long-term dependence on US military protection will inevitably lead to a vicious circle of the island's politics.

China will never allow Washington to stir up trouble in the peaceful development across the Straits by constant arms sales.

China has the firm will to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is no suspense at all over the ultimate result in this struggle around the Taiwan question. Arms sales to the island will turn out to be increasingly harder, and the bitterness caused is clear to both Washington and Taiwan.

Posted in: Editorial

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