Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Fences

As I recently cautioned against doing, this writer argues against letting down our (Taiwan and America, that is) guard against the Chinese military threat against Taiwan:

China and Taiwan are getting along much better these days. Considering the stake the United States has in their relationship, that's good news.

But this is no time to let down our guard, as Chinese officials have been urging. Wang Yi, who heads China's Taiwan Affairs Office, visited Washington last month to press the case against U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. At the same time, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy was in Beijing for military talks, hearing the same pitch. The United States should not waver in the face of Chinese pressure to reduce the quality and quantity of American support for Taiwan. To do so would both jeopardize Taiwan's security and risk returning to a fractious, tense and dangerous cross-Strait relationship.

As he says, Taiwanese military weakness invites Chinese aggression. Remember, better relations so far have not involved Chinese renunciation of the use of force to absorb Taiwan, let alone the renunciation of the determination to rule Taiwan.