KMT shows its true allegiance
If anyone had doubts about the true allegiance of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), those should have been dispelled yesterday when it announced it was blocking the special budget set aside for the Ministry of National Defense to develop the Hsiung Feng (“Brave Wind”) IIE missile, a multiple-platform cruise missile capable of reaching Chinese cities that would have given Taiwan retaliatory capabilities it did not possess.
Already, with the US refusing to sell critical component parts for the development of the missile, the program was facing challenges, compelling the Taiwanese government to search for other markets for the parts or to seek to develop them indigenously. But now, with the budget facing a complete freeze by the KMT, its survival is at stake.
Granted, as belligerents add offensive weapons — and the Hsiung Feng is such a weapon — to their stockpiles and start deploying them, the risks of error increase, and with them the likelihood that wars could be launched by mistake. But as I have argued before, no defense is complete without a deterrent, and this is what the Hsiung Feng would have provided.
The KMT rationalizes its decision to block the budget by saying the missile could have “provoked” Beijing — again, as always, it is Taiwan that is provoking Beijing, never the other way around — and that it was therefore safer to halt its development. But this fails to take stock of reality and starkly shows in whose camp the KMT really is. In the process, it irresponsibly puts the security of the nation at risk.
The only way the KMT could have won the “provocation” argument would be for it to set preconditions for freezing the budget. Those would be, at modicum: (a) the dismantling or de-targeting of the odd-1,000 missiles China is aiming at Taiwan and (b) the renunciation of the use of force to annex Taiwan. China’s continued — and increasing — threat to use force against Taiwan is the true provocation, and yet the KMT remains silent on that issue, a silence that tacitly acknowledges Beijing’s right to break international law by threatening the use of force against another nation.
What’s next? Perhaps the KMT, realizing that the very existence of Taiwan is “provocative” to China, should freeze agricultural, social, health and other budgets that allow for the state to exist in the first place. After all, and if we follow the party’s logic, only when a free, democratic Taiwan ceases to exist will the so-called provocation completely vanish.