The White House is moving forward with three sales of advanced weaponry
to the island of Taiwan, sending in rep days a notification of the
deals to Congress for approval, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
bill is much likely to be approved. Now that the White House has
submitted it to Congress, there must have been the necessary
back-channels of communication within the Washington's inner circles.
the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979 states that the US can sell only
defensive weapons to the island of Taiwan, the US has been helping
develop the offensive capability of the military on the island of Taiwan
under the guise of self-defense.
For example, a High Mobility
Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) proposed to Congress, which can launch
rockets for precise strikes against landing forces or naval vessels, can
also launch tactical ballistic missiles for attacks against distant
targets — with definite offensive attributes.
Among these weapons
and equipment, HIMARS is of great concern because its lethality is very
strong. In the future, the US may sell long-range precision-guided
munitions to Taiwan. The degree to which US arms sale will improve the
military on the island depends on what equipment is sold, ammunition and
also upgrade capabilities — especially if the US readily upgrade those
weapons to give them greater precision firepower at longer distances.
overall, whatever the US sells to Taiwan, the balance of military
strength between the island's military and the Chinese People's
Liberation Army (PLA) will not change — Chinese mainland will always
retain the upper hand.
This is because the PLA has a firm
control of air and sea. The Chinese mainland has an absolute dominance
with long-range precision striking capabilities too. Washington hopes to
encourage separatist forces through the sale of select weapons and
equipment. However, the strength of the military on the island remains
the same. When the US sells weapons and equipment, its first purpose is
to make money. Its second purpose is to cause conflicts in cross-Straits
relations and counterbalance the development of the Chinese mainland.
It is not sincere to help the military on the island improve its overall
However, the authorities of Taiwan regional
leader Tsai Ing-wen do not seem to have a clear awareness of the aim of
US arms sales. Since Tsai took office in 2016, Taiwan authorities have
heavily invested in weaponry made by the US. Their dependence on support
from the US to resist the Chinese mainland's pursuit of reunification
is destined to be a dead end. Only by abiding by the 1992 Consensus can
the island create a secure situation, and gain more opportunities to
advance its development.
Washington's arms sales to Taiwan have
been significantly influenced by its weapon manufacturers, who have
close ties with political elites at the White House. In an attempt to
get more orders or make more profits for these arms dealers, some US
politicians will not hesitate to sabotage China-US relations — or
trigger more conflicts across the Straits.
In July, China
announced to sanction US company Lockheed Martin, the main contractor
involved in the latest arms package to Taiwan. This was a necessary move
to safeguard national interests. This can work as a kind of
countermeasure and warning against US weaponry contractors selling arms
which undermines the peace across the Straits. The possibility that
China will increase sanctions on these dealers cannot be ruled out. They
must pay the price.
Additionally, the Chinese mainland should
boost its military capability to safeguard peace and stability of the
Straits, keeping its absolute advantage over Taiwan. In this scenario,
no matter what kind of US weaponry Taiwan purchases, it will be in