Saturday, May 05, 2007

US Double Standard on the Taiwan weapons purchase

Veteran military correspondent Wendell Minnick chronicles accusations that the US has a double standard on the Taiwan weapons purchase:

Young also criticized Taiwan's recent announcement that it is developing a land-attack cruise missile (LACM) capable of hitting China."The United States feels that the focus should be on defensive, and not offensive, weapons. ... In fact, we think Taiwan should be placing its emphasis on, its missile defense," he said.

China has approximately 800 to 900 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan, and defense analysts here argue that six batteries of PAC-3s will do little in the event of a saturation missile attack from China.

Local analysts are complaining that Young grumbles that Taiwan does not take defense seriously because it does not want to buy U.S.-made weapons, but at the same time criticizes its development of a LACM.

On the 'offensive missiles,' I have to say that Taiwan knows well regarding the utility of LACM and possible consequences in a contingency across the Strait, and the inability of the U.S. to stop or dissuade China's missile buildup," said Alexander Huang, a senior associate of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies who lives in Taipei.

"Taiwan's development of offensive capability, in addition to hardening and infrastructure protection, is one of the investments aiming to disrupting or complicating China's war planning," he said."The LACM may not be a provocation, but it can be seen as an indigenous effort in defense modernization, and a reflection of Taiwan's will in strengthening her homeland defense."

Arthur Ding, a cross-strait military affairs expert at the National Chengchi University, argues that Washington uses a double standard in Asia.

Ding points out that South Korea has offensive missiles and Washington does nothing about it.

"This is not the case for Taiwan, and this is why the U.S. is concerned over Taiwan's surface-to-surface missile program," he said."Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if the U.S. really pressures Taiwan to terminate its surface-to-surface missile program. There is always a gap between 'statement' and 'deed.'"

The US position is gibberish. On one hand, it accuses Taipei of not wanting to buy US weapons and thus, not being serious about defense. On the other, it says Taipei is too serious about defense, for it is building "offensive" weapons. From yet another angle, it complains that Taiwan is building offensive weapons and that is bad, but then it is criticizing Taiwan for not buying US submarines, weapons that the US refused to sell Taiwan for twenty years because.....they were offensive weapons. And let's not forget: citing the legislature's intransigence on the arms purchase, the US has refused to sell requested (and needed) F-16s to Taiwan -- and then it accuses Taipei of not being serious about its own defense!

If any human held the US positions, it would immediately be put in a straitjacket.


channing said...

Woohoo, more double standards, something every country loves to abuse to its own benefit.

Unknown said...

Firstly, you just helped me write my class paper on Barnett's BFA. In the process I found this 2001 Judis article in TAP, and I was wondering what you thought about it.


Anonymous said...

that last paragraph really drives home the point. great post.