Saturday, June 21, 2008

When Tyrants Pout

So delays in selling arms to Taiwan are coming from our government now?

And a posting on Strategypage says:

The U.S. ambassador to China, Clark T. "Sandy" Randt, opposes Bush administration plans to sell advanced F-16 jets to Taiwan because of concerns that Beijing has grown "angry" over protests and harsh reaction around the world to China's Olympic torch relay.

So let me get this straight. China is attracting the ire of many groups that notice China's various forms of tyranny. China doesn't like that attention. China is mad at us about that attention.

And we are the ones who are supposed to change our behavior in response by stalling F-16 sales?

And it gets more bizarre:

Taiwan's government privately had requested that the administration not send the notifications in the next few weeks as China and Taiwan complete negotiations on launching charter flights and expanding tourism between the two countries, according to diplomatic sources familiar with the discussions. But top officials such as Rice were irritated by Taiwan's protracted domestic wrangling over the sale and appear wary of irritating China during the negotiations over North Korea's nuclear programs.

At stake are $11 billion in weapons deals, including 30 Apache helicopters, 60 Black Hawk helicopters, eight diesel-electric submarines and four Patriot air defense missile batteries, which Taiwan's legislature approved in separate budgets in June and December of last year. For two years, the administration has also refused to accept a "letter of request" from Taiwan for 66 F-16 C/D fighters -- estimated to cost $5 billion -- that would lead to a potential sale.

So the Taiwanese government wants a delay? And we think China might not help on North Korea if we sell arms as we always have?

The former reason is just astounding given that this charm offensive might just be to get Taiwan to let down their guard.

The latter is idiotic considering that it is a vital Chinese interest and not a favor to America to keep North Korea from going nuclear.

Oh, narrowly speaking, China wouldn't mind if North Korea had nukes pointing at us and Japan, and the issue stopped right there. But in response to a North Korean nuclear arsenal, Japan and South Korea--and maybe Taiwan--would go nuclear in the years to follow. It is the latter that China fears. So stop thinking China is doing us a favor by working with us to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The scary thing is, this appeasement of Peking over Taiwan makes sense to our State Department.