'Unconditional military aid' to Taiwan a gift with malicious intentions: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 31, 2023 11:59 PM Updated: Aug 31, 2023 11:54 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it will provide the first-ever military aid to the Taiwan region through the so-called "Foreign Military Financing program" with a total value of about $80 million. Many American media outlets mentioned "it will likely infuriate China" in their reports. So, since they are well aware that this will "infuriate China," why is the US still choosing to do it?

This demonstrates that Washington has intentionally provoked China on the Taiwan question. It is well aware that these actions flagrantly violate the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués, and it cannot possibly be unaware of the serious consequences caused to the situation across the Taiwan Straits. The US is meticulously setting up a trap filled with sharp blades for Taiwan, while covering it with flowers and sweet treats to entice the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities who have ulterior motives. Whether it was Biden's use of "presidential authority" to provide military aid to Taiwan in late July, or this first-ever military aid through the so-called "Foreign Military Financing program," Washington is impatiently applying the model of military assistance to Ukraine to the Taiwan region.

One egregious aspect of this precedent-breaking move is that the US "Foreign Military Financing program" is typically arranged for independent sovereign nations. The amount of military grant assistance for Taiwan approved by the US Congress previously is up to $2 billion per year for the next five years. Although the amount this time is not substantial, the nature of its actions is both malicious and grave. It signifies that the US has once again crossed a threshold and overstepped a red line in interfering in the Taiwan question. The US is gradually hollowing out the one-China principle through its salami-slicing tactics. With the increasing number and intensity of its intervention methods, the brewing and imminent storm of lethal consequences for Taiwan cannot be ignored.

Data indicates that the Taiwan region has been the largest purchaser of US weapons since 2020, and US arms sales to Taiwan have been continuously increasing. Now, they have come up with a new trick. Providing unconditional military assistance to Taiwan is akin to a cunning and shrewd seller's designed giveaway - this seller's target is not only the money in Taiwan's pocket but also the geopolitical value of "using Taiwan to contain China." Through the sale of weapons to Taiwan, the US is consciously implementing the "porcupine strategy" in the Taiwan region. What it wants is to turn Taiwan into a warship with the American flag, with its cannons pointed toward the mainland. This strategy not only aims to counter the reunification process between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, but also allows the US military-industrial complex to sustainably reap benefits.

It is worth noting that whether it is arms sales to Taiwan or so-called "assistance," it's the US that has the final say over what weapons are sold, at what price, when, and how much. The DPP authorities not only have no bargaining power, but also lack the right to be informed, and can only wait for Washington's official announcement. There have been absurd incidents in the past, such as the US Air Force directly ordering drones for Taiwan. It was said that the Taiwan side only found out about their purchase of the four drones after seeing the reports. Some media persons in the island mocked, "the US just sends them over, and Taiwan has to pay for them." Is there anything more absurd than this "contract" in the world?

Speaking of whether the US' actions "infuriate China," this oversimplifies the matter. China's strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition are obvious, but China's response to the continuous provocations by the US on the Taiwan question will not be limited to mere statements. One of the main reasons why China does not promise to abandon the use of force is to counter foreign interference. The US' involvement in the Asia-Pacific region is carefully calculated and considered the most cost-effective "investment," but China's strong determination and firm will to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be "calculated" and cannot be intimidated by any pressure.

Every time the US sells or donates outdated weapons to Taiwan, the DPP authorities become excited, as if they won the lottery, and they express extreme gratitude toward the US. The DPP authorities' ambition to rely on the US for seeking independence and their guts to resist reunification are inherently insufficient and they constantly require the US to cheer them on. Otherwise, they will quickly decline, even if the cost of each cheer is extremely expensive. However, the encouragement provided by these weapons is actually a dangerous illusion. They are no longer just hot potatoes, but bombs that could be detonated at any time. These weapons cannot change the military balance between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits or reverse the trend toward reunification. The DPP authorities are heading toward a dead end; by no means should the more than 23 million people in Taiwan and the island should be tied to the chariot of the DPP and Washington.