Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Report Says Biden to Tell Beijing it has veto over US foreign policy

The Taipei Times passes along a report that the Obama Administration has given Beijing a veto over US foreign policy:
US Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to embark on a state visit to China in the middle of next month, will provide assurances to Beijing that the US has no plans to sell Taiwan the F-16C/D aircraft it is seeking, reports said yesterday.

During his visit, Biden will explain why the US President Barack Obama’s administration, facing pressure from US Congress and required to meet its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act, would agree to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of 144 F-16A/B aircraft, the Chinese-language news service DW News (多維新聞) reported, citing an unnamed “senior US official.”

However, Biden will reportedly tell his Chinese hosts that Washington has no plans to sell to Taiwan the 66 more advanced F-16C/D it has been seeking since 2006, the report said.

An official announcement on Washington’s decision not to release the F-16C/Ds and to proceed on the upgrade plan will be made in September, it said.
You can hope that this report is false, but knowledgeable individuals have said all along that no F-16s were coming to Taiwan. Whether or not it will send Biden to Beijing to kowtow to the Chinese, the Obama Administration has apparently decided to forego the sale of F-16s to Taiwan, following the Bush Administration in this regard. Yay for foreign policy continuity!

One  has to wonder what this means for the Administration's relations with a DPP government in Taipei. If Beijing decides to demonize Tsai as it demonized Chen Shui-bian, will the Obama Administration, which has simply followed Bush in so many areas, foreign and domestic, serve Beijing as the Bush Administration did? Scary.

On a complementary aspect of Taiwan's defense, David Axe in The Diplomat argues that Taiwan needs submarines -- it is actually a long argument against acquiring the fighter aircraft, and ends:
The best weapons for delaying a Chinese attack are ones that can’t be targeted by ballistic missiles – and that could confront a Chinese invasion fleet far from Taiwan's shores. That means submarines.

Today, the Taiwanese navy operates just two combat-ready submarines, bought from the Dutch during a rare period when European nations were willing to risk angering Beijing by selling weapons to Taipei. In 2001, Washington approved the sale of eight new diesel-powered subs to Taiwan, but no US shipyards currently build such boats. Ten years later, the deal is still pending.
Submarines are nifty -- if one has a long naval tradition of operating submarines and bases that are immune to Chinese attack. Taiwan has neither. Not only will subs not arrive for many years, but their bases will still be as vulnerable to assault as the F-16 fields.

The attack helicopters that Taiwan is acquiring have air-to-land missiles that can inflict serious harm on an invasion force but it remains to be seen whether Taiwan has the command and communications ability to construct mobile bases and coordinate a defense, especially since they won't have air cover since the US would rather serve Beijing than defend Taiwan. Disgusting.

Clock ticking now on next request Washington will have to fulfill that will make Beijing happy..... because Washington is going to find out that feeding the monster only makes it bigger.
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! Delenda est, baby.


Readin said...

Biden said it quite clearly to Tawian, "You are no longer an independent country. You are no longer an independent nation-state. We've agreed that you are going to be part of China and that you will work it out under what conditions." (That's an actual quote, not a paraphrase or me putting words into his mouth.)

"You are no longer an independent country. You are no longer an independent nation-state. We've agreed that you are going to be part of China and that you will work it out under what conditions."

Biden-Obama are just following through.

One thing you have to give credit for to their administration for is keeping some of their promises. They promised to spend us into bankruptcy, they're keeping their promise (of course on that point they're just expanding on the policy of the previous administration). They promised to attack the job creating businesses, and they've followed through. They promised to give Taiwan to China and get nothing in exchange, and they're following through.

Geoff said...

It is not only the USA which makes subs. South Oz is making Collins class subs at Port Adelaide and apparently they are pretty advanced creatures. (but of course Oz will bow to US decisions)

Hopenchange said...

Nice to see the Booooshhh!(TM) camp has tentacles as far reaching as Taiwan. I mean heck Barry has only been in office now for what, two and a half years?

I guess the silver lining is that they sent Joey "The Bidenator" Biden to do the dirty work so the Obama administration can pretty much chalk up anything Biden says as an unfortunate gaffe. "No, he meant to say 'We will be selling F16s to Taiwan. Sorry for the Mix-up'"

Anonymous said...

At least Bush once said, China should take Taiwan as an example...

Anonymous said...

No surprise that Liberals will kowtow to China in such fashion. I personally know many self-proclaimed Liberals who turn a blind eye when it comes to China, especially their human rights abuses. But because China is a communist country (on paper at least), they will not criticize China or its policies. My sister-in-law is a perfect example of a Liberal person in love with China (she's Caucasian but went to university there) and has bought the official, Chinese line about Taiwan belonging to China bullshit. I'm Taiwanese-American btw.


Anonymous said...

Why should Biden say this? Sources or it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Readin - what is the source of Biden's quote? I googled this and there is no reference or link to it except for the same unsourced quote on the blog of the despicable Tea-Partier, Cristy Li.

I've read on an insider blog that the current report circulating the media-net comes originally from a questionable news agency that might be Chinese-owned or influenced (DW News - needs further researching), and thus should be considered as disinformation.

In fact, when clicking on Google's "all news articles" for the Biden comment, nearly all the media that is carrying this are pro-China and KMT media (Focus Taiwan, China Daily, Forbes blog, Xinhua...). I smell a rat.

One blogger states that Biden would not reveal to the media what he would say the communist chinese in advance of the meeting. It's just not standard protocol, to begin with, and I tend to agree with that. Considering the war games we just has in the South China Sea, why would Biden stir up the shit like that?

Nevets said...

Who was Biden talking to when he said this? Why can't this "actual quote" be found?

Michael Turton said...

The quote is supposed to occur in the middle of next month....

Anonymous said...

Supposedly from 2001.

Readin said...

Biden said
"You are no longer an independent country. You are no longer an independent nation-state. We've agreed that you are going to be part of China and that you will work it out under what conditions."


Anonymous said...

First, you quoted that completely out of context.
Second, you didn't even quote correctly!

"That act, he said, told Taiwan "you are no longer an independent country.[...]"

"Biden said, the TRA says that..." is quite a bit different from "Biden said...".
And the correct phrasing would have been, "Biden said, 10 years ago, during a meeting with Chen in Taipei, that the TRA says ..."

That's like calling Bush a satanist because of that:


Marc said...

Well, not exactly...

The precise quote from Charles Snyder's 2001 article states:

"That act, [Biden] said, told Taiwan 'you are no longer an independent country. You are no longer an independent nation-state. We've agreed that you are going to be part of China and that you will work it out.'"

He also goes on to aver that "US resources would be better spent helping Taiwan to improve its defenses."

In some ways his tactless and crotchety tirade isn't wrong. The TRA does refer to the "absence of diplomatic relations" and maintaining only cultural and business ties. It also states that "the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means."

I may concede that Biden, who made this statement as a senator ten years ago as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was somewhat stretching the interpretation. From the speech, he was apparently responding to CSB, who must have pissed Biden off.

What's needed here are some facts about Biden's self-interests in China. I know he has them. Does anyone know what they are?

Readin said...

"The precise quote from Charles Snyder's 2001 article states"

Do you have a link to that article? It sounds like it has a little more detail than the Taipei Times article and I would love to be able to use that link.

Readin said...

Oops, I see Snyder was the author of the Taipei Times article.

Anyway, since Biden reprented the US and Congress, and the TRA represents both the US and Congress, the "We" he used included himself.

Marc said...

Readin said: Anyway, since Biden reprented the US and Congress, and the TRA represents both the US and Congress, the "We" he used included himself.

Well, that's not quite right, either. Biden's interpretation is his own. He has a reputation from shooting from the hip and talking like a boy from the 'hood (like CSB).

The "we" may represent some members of Congress, but at this time there was a strong Taiwan caucus, very active and vocal (see below). Even now there is clearly significant support in Congress and the Senate in support of Taiwan.

We have to put this Biden quote in context. Let's consider the Taiwan events of 2001:

2001 April - The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, meets President Chen during a visit which draws strong opposition from China.

2001 April - US says it will go ahead with sales of submarines, warships and anti-submarine aircraft, but not the requested naval combat radar system Aegis. China protests and President George W Bush pledges to help Taiwan should China invade.

2001 June - Taiwan test-fires Patriot anti-missile defense system bought from US, as China carries out military exercises simulating invasion of island.

2001 November - Taipei lifts a 50-year ban on direct trade and investment with China.

2001 December - (KMT) party loses its parliamentary majority for the first time.

This is all under CSB, of course. Lots of activity. CSB is clearly taking action and stirring things up. He's doing his job for Taiwan. All this is surely making Biden nervous--he doesn't like CSB "independence" Bush doesn't care despite his comment, b/c he isn't really paying attention to Asia, and so the State Dept is calling the shots. That's the more likely "we" in this quote.