Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Threading the Wrong Needle: A Response

A new report by the EastWest Institute only manages to reinforce the illusion that US arms sales to Taiwan are the principal cause of friction in the triangular relationship between Taiwan, the US and China

The belief that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan stand in the way of good relations between Washington and Beijing has been repeated so often over the decades that it has acquired a status approaching that of a religious text. A new report by the EastWest Institute proposes a way to mitigate the irritants, but ultimately fails to address the root cause of the problem.

It should be stated from the onset that any effort aimed at resolving the differences that have long plagued relations between Taiwan, China and the U.S., which if mishandled could quickly descend into a war that nobody wants, deserves our attention. Released last week, Threading the Needle: Proposals for U.S. and Chinese Actions on Arms Sales to Taiwan, submits a plan of action that, it promises, would lead to a “new status quo on the issue [of arms sales] that better serves the interests of all three parties.”

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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