Two counterpoints in the Taipei Times today. First, longtime Taiwan supporter Randy Shriver, speaking at a conference this week, urged the continuance of US arms sales....
However, despite the economic, diplomatic and political improvements, the PLA has not “removed a single missile, a single military unit,” he said.Meanwhile President Ma said he would continue to purchase US arms. Both sets of remarks came in response to reports in the media that China had claimed the US had responded positively to discussing the sales. Reports even said that China would "adjust" its military deployments against Taiwan in exchange for reduced arms sales. Adjust upward, they no doubt meant. Washington later said that talks would be held with Beijing on several issues, but arms for Taiwan would not be included.
“They have done nothing to reduce the posture opposite Taiwan in a way that reduces their military capability and presence,” he added.
In fact, the Chinese military buildup opposite Taiwan has “continued apace” while Taiwan’s own military budgets have fallen, Schriver said.
“Perhaps the PLA and the PRC [the People’s Republic of China] leadership is not confident in the ultimate trajectory of Taiwan,” he said. “Perhaps they understand some things that a lot of Americans miss.”
From the number of people who echo Shriver's last observation there -- that American observers are not getting what is going in the cross-strait relationship, it seems that, well, lots of people aren't getting it. It seems obvious that if the military build up continues apace, then tensions are not being reduced. They are merely being obscured.....
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