Recently, based on Taiwan’s media reports, the U.S. has declined Taiwan’s request to purchase the F-16C/D fighter plane. In the past, both the U.S. and Taiwan were very passionate about arms sales. What has caused such a drastic change?
A Xinhua article believes that it is because of the U.S.’s strategic change in Asia. For a long time, Taiwan was a “trump card” for the U.S. in balancing Sino-U.S. relations. As the cross-strait relationship has moderated, the “trump card” has lost its shine. Therefore, in such a circumstance, the U.S. is unwilling to sell arms (to Taiwan).
The article further says that China’s scientific and technological advances in national defense are the fundamental reason for the U.S. to be low-key on arms sales to Taiwan. The article concludes that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan is an old issue for China. China always held an opposing attitude, which previously had little effect. Now, the impact of China’s scientific and technological advances in national defense has surpassed all past efforts. Therefore, in many international political affairs, strategic missions, and military issues, the role of scientific and technological advances in national defense will be very important.
Source: Xinhua, August 5, 2011