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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Will Taiwan still get advanced fighter jets?

Why did AIT head Stanton remain tight-lipped on the sale of F-16C/D fighter jets, and only saying the issue was still under discussion? Because the US will be able to decide if Taiwan is still worth defending when the outcome of the ECFA negotiations between the KMT and the CCP is clear. So it is actually good for the US to wait and see because it will make the KMT negotiators work harder for Taiwan’s interests.

Taiwan’s defense ministry urges U.S. to sell advanced fighter jets to Taiwan, but the KMT government’s planned economic policies are so contradictory (a must read link), therefore Taiwan cannot blame the US for hesitating.

Recently Taiwan’s pan-blue media, the Global View Magazine released an opinion poll indicating 58.6% were dissatisfied with Ma’s performance and 41.2% (see note below) believed that he is taking Taiwan towards unification soon (compared to 16.6% believed so in Aug. 2005). Judging from Taiwan’s public opinion, in which 68.3% believed that the two sides would not need to unify even if the economic, political, and social conditions are approximately similar (compared to 11.7% who believed that it would be time to unify when the conditions are similar), there is no doubt that Ma’s cross-strait policy is being carried out against the will of the majority. And in fact with 69% disapproved the eventual unification, this simply coincides with the earlier finding of a separate question with 68.3% supported no need for unification when the conditions on two sides are similar.

If Taiwan’s public opinion has this doubt about Ma’s ability to defend Taiwan’s interests, why shouldn’t the US officials be cautious?

After all, there is no use having the Taiwan Relations Act when the KMT-ROC has a lousy Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Those people who believe Ma is going to bring more money, with no effect on Taiwan's political status are simply not paying attention to the reality that economic policies dictate political decisions including military sales these days.

“Senior administration members have said that a decision on selling F-16s to Taiwan will not be announced until next year.” reported Taipei Times. This means that the US will be watching closely on the terms that will be contained in the ECFA, if they don’t like some terms inside the ECFA, they may decide not to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan anymore. “Improved relations between Beijing and Taipei also make future US arms sales doubtful.” This means that the US is smart and cautious enough not to let its hi-tech secrets slip through Taiwan’s arm sales to reach China through China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou.

If Taiwan gives away everything for free to China, there is nothing left to be used for bargaining. So, don’t blame on the hesitant US officials, just watch the KMT’s Ministry of Economic Affairs!


Note: 41.2% believed Ma’s stance is unification, 3.9% believed Ma is maintaining the status-quo then unification, 23.9% believed Ma is maintaining the status-quo then decide, and 6.2% believed Ma is maintaining the status-quo forever (that leaves 24.8% with no answer or unlikely believed Ma is definitely going for an eventual independence)

The Taiwan Security Research keeps you up-to-date with Taiwan’s defense news


Άλισον said...

It now appears increasingly unlikely that US President Barack Obama will agree to sell advanced F-16 C/D fighter aircraft to Taiwan per Taipei Times news of Saturday, Dec 12, 2009, Page 1, F-16 prospects looking bleaker.

Άλισον said...

Related Taipei times editorial Without birds, arms sales is theater

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