Wednesday, August 26, 2009

US defense effort not first since 1979

Wendell Minnick in Defense News:
Despite local media reports that this is the first time U.S. military forces have entered Taiwan since 1979, the U.S. government official noted that every year sees at least one visit by a military aircraft, usually to ferry in congressional visitors.

"Also, we have in the past quietly sent in U.S. military aircraft to support disaster relief operations in Taiwan," he said, including Typhoon Aere in 2004 and the 9-21 earthquake in 1999.
It's a shame that they were sent in 'quietly' in those earlier disasters, but it was good that they were.
Daily Links:
  • RTI's fabulous blog Hear in Taiwan has a great translation of a blogger who witnessed a ceremony in Siaolin village. Thanks, Angelica.
  • Looking for a place to rent in Taiwan? Look here.
  • Claudia Jean with excellent post on how the KMT screwed up the DPP water management bill
  • 6-3-3! 6-3-3! Real earnings hit 1996 levels, according to the DGBAS.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Άλισον said...

Per D o D dated Sep 21 1999 News Transcript

"A couple of things to start off. The Department of Defense is assisting the Taiwan authorities with dealing with yesterday's earthquake. This morning at 10:30 a 72-member Fairfax County urban search and rescue team with four search and rescue dogs left on a C-5 destined for Taiwan. They've got 60,000 pounds of equipment and three vehicles. They should close on Taipei in the 17 hour window, so later today our time.

Then last night the advance party went off also with some officials from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from the State Department.

So within a 24-hour period we've responded with some badly-needed personnel to try to help the Taiwanese cope with the earthquake there and we'll continue to do whatever we can to assist them."

Thanks to Taiwan Airblog's Administrator's comment lead

Anonymous said...

Yes, it doesn't matter that the US offered assistance quietly and without fanfare in those earlier instances, the main thing is that it did offer the assistance and they did go there. It doesn't really matter what the packge looks like, it's what's inside the package that counts, and in this case, the USA "delivered the goods", as it did in 1999 earthquake too. The New York Times reported on Aug 23 issue that some of the US transport planes and helicopters did not sport the US flag on the tails or traditional military aircraft insignia, but who cares what the New York Times says, the main thing is the aid was delivered, decals or not, and everyone knows that when it came to life and death, the USA was there for Taiwan. And hopefull, the Taiwanese will now understand that if and when China ever attacks, we will be there for them, too. Watching the news accounts on TV from here in Virginia, seeing the US airmen (and women! yeah!) helping out in Taiwan's moment of need, I was very very proud as an American of Lebanese origin. Long live the USA!

Anonymous said...

Frank Ching had a good oped piece in the China Post today on this issue too, saying how it was nice that this time China turned a blind eye to the US helping out in Taiwan. He is a Hong Kong based journalist, somewhat pro China but also measured. He uses terms like mainland China, even though he know the name of the country is China. But other than that, it was a good article. Wednesday, China Post online too on the editorial commentary page.

He got it wrong, though. He said it was the first time US gave aid since 1979. You can correct him at

The New York Times also had a story in the August 23 issue which I think got it very very wrong, but the report said: "Taiwan's Leader Faces Anger Over Storm Response" with one sentence in middle reporting: ".....But in Taipei there was some hand-wringing among those who questioned why military insignia on US
airplanes were masked..."