Sunday, June 25, 2006

US Opposes Taiwan Missile Plan

A Taipei Times article on the US attempt to make Taiwan end its missile programs has been making the rounds:

The US is troubled by Taiwan's efforts to build missiles to defend itself against a Chinese attack and may pressure Taipei to cancel indigenous missile programs, according to a report in the latest edition of the US-based Defense News weekly.

The report cites Richard Fisher, vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a Washington-based think tank, in claiming that the Bush administration is quietly opposing Taiwan's efforts to develop long-range missile technology.


Richard Bush, a former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman and director, is also quoted in the article as saying that "Taipei's decision to acquire offensive weapons would make it easier for China to take provocative or even hostile measures."

The report said that Taiwan first publicly acknowledged its efforts to build long-range ballistic missiles in May last year, when Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) admitted to legislators that the military's Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology had been seeking to develop offensive missiles that could strike China.

"Here you have the US complaining that Taiwan doesn't take its defense seriously, isn't buying the necessary weapons. On the other hand, the US is squashing Taiwan's efforts to develop its own defenses," Wendell Minnick, Defense News Asia bureau chief told the Taipei Times.

There have been quite a number of indignant comments along the lines of Wendell Minnick's, and I think they are quite justified, especially given China's own missile build-up. Note that the China scholar for the International Assessment and Strategy Center is none other than Arthur Waldron, who has longstanding connections to the KMT. Also see Richard Fisher's report on the PLA army modernizatin threat to Taiwan. It seems the Center is conservative, pro-Taiwan, and anti-China.

No comments: