On the 15th, Reuters published this article on the low probability of F-16 sales to Taiwan. Though the article was mostly ok, there were a couple of things:
The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979 and recognizes Beijing's "one China" policy. But it is also Taiwan's biggest ally and arms supplier and is duty-bound by legislation to help the island in the event of attack.This is a clear error; the US does not recognize Beijing's One China policy. The US "One China" policy doesn't include Taiwan.
Several of us dropped them a note to point this out.
There is some disagreement among us Taiwan supporters over how to interpret the TRA; a careful reading will show that it does not bind the US to anything in the event Taiwan is attacked. However, there is a widespread belief that the TRA does commit the US to helping Taiwan in the event of a Chinese assault; such beliefs may lead to miscalculation. Might also be the subject of a good investigative news report: what does the TRA actually mean?
Reuters also said:
Taiwan has repeatedly asked Washington to agree to sell it the advanced F-16 fighter jets, citing the need to counter the growing military strength of China, which views the island as a breakaway province.Note that this is both biased and unbalanced. It is biased in that its report of China's desire to annex Taiwan is couched in Beijing's language: "breakaway province" though Taiwan was a province of a Manchu state for just nine years (terminating in 1895), was never entirely controlled by the Qing, and was never ruled by any ethnic Chinese emperor. Taiwan is not a "breakaway province" but a territory Beijing wants to annex based on a politically slanted reconstruction of history. Wouldn't it be better to take a neutral stance on how Beijing views Taiwan? ADDED: First anon below disagrees.
And the imbalance -- this rendition of The Formula also does not report how Taiwan feels about China -- shouldn't it have been balanced with a report that almost no one in Taiwan wants to be annexed to the PRC?
Skipping over the imbalances and interpretations, the error in the first paragraph noted above is quite clear. However, it has been three days now and still no fix in sight.
ADDED: maddog as always, has the right words
Here's the "One China" policy of the US as described on p. 3 of the August 4, 2011 CRS report [PDF]:Let's see if they issue a correction.
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U.S. “One China” Policy
The United States has its own position on Taiwan’s status. Not recognizing the PRC’s claim over Taiwan nor Taiwan as a sovereign state, U.S. policy has considered Taiwan’s status as unsettled.
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