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  • Fine, Now Sell Taiwan the F-16s

    The Department of Defense today notified Congress on the sale of $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan, including patriot missiles, black hawk helicopters and assistance for its military communications network.

    This almost clears the books on sales committed to by President George W. Bush since 2001. President Bush himself closed the deal on half of it in the Fall of 2008 just before leaving office. President Barack Obama is to be commended for making the second part of the sale happen in the face of vociferous, and in some ways unprecedented Chinese objections. The President should now turn expeditiously to addressing needs that have been piling up over the ensuing 9 years – starting with the sale of the 66 advanced F-16C/Ds Taiwan has requested. Taiwan has been stymied on that request now by two Administrations – going back to 2006. These planes are the real meat of Taiwan’s pending requests – and even they, unfortunately, will not completely fill the need.

    The Taiwan-China watching community in the United States, largely resigned to the imbalance in forces across the Taiwan Straits in favor of China, often makes the point that they sales are important “symbolically.” Indeed, they are – and in much the way the commentators intend. They demonstrate U.S. commitment to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan as required by American Law. To the extent that the new sale demonstrates this, it is a very good thing.

    But the limited nature of the sale symbolizes something else entirely, something more powerful – an unwillingness to sell anything that truly counters China’s rapidly modernizing armed forces and the threat they pose to its neighbors. What good is reserving the prerogative to sell weapons to Taiwan if we never get around to selling them what they need most? This is about Taiwan’s defense. It is also about U.S. credibility as a security partner and the maintenance of peace and security in the Asia Pacific: Two things that are closely related.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    26 Responses to Fine, Now Sell Taiwan the F-16s

    1. John says:

      This article is a total bullshit. I guess that you are afraid that there will be no wars in this world.

    2. John B. San Diego says:

      Where's the Beef? Taiwan has our back finically, and Brits plus Israelis have our back militarily. What's wrong with sending a strong message Sec. State Clinton to China and North Korea we in America can support our people in Asia? America grows a set or we go down!

    3. Chink says:

      We will nuke you shit eating gringos.

    4. Joe D., Louisiana says:

      Do we support Taiwan or not? If we do and they are a trading partner with us that is run by an elected democratic government and promotes capitalistic ideals, then we not only have an obligation to sell them the planes, but we would also stand to gain economically by doing so. I am also sure the folks at Lockheed Martin would like and could use the work. What is the size of Red China's air force? These 66 planes would surely not tip the balance of air power in Taiwan's favor, but they sure would help the people of Taiwan feel like they had a partner in their defense. Not that Poland and the Czech Republic feel that we have their backs anymore.

    5. Pingback: U.S. to Sell Some Arms to Taiwan, but Should Sell F-16s, Too | The … « Autions

    6. MiWa says:

      I suggest the title of this article should change to "Fine, now sell Taiwan nuclear weapon with delivery system or hand off". Mainland China is building a military capability that fit an aspiring superpower. The aged F-16 will not deter China to take Taiwan by force if she thinks Taiwan has crossed the line in the sand, f.g., claiming independence, Chinese Air Force will soundly and quickly defeat Taiwan, with or without F-16, by both the quality and quantity of its 4th and 5th generation jet fighters. A "nuclear" Taiwan and "Mutually Assured Destruction" is the only possible deterrent. But realistically can the US do this? Therefore, why not the US just stay out and let Taiwan and China build even stronger economic ties (1 in 4 Taiwanese working or have family members working in China today) and work out their differences step by step?

    7. Jason Reyes says:

      I TOTALLY agree.

    8. Jason Reyes says:

      I mean with the author of the article, not the comment previous.

      I don't think it is appropriate to give Taiwan nuclear capability.

      It is enough to suggest that if China came for Taiwan, OUR nuclear capability would protect them.

      I also appreciate the author acknowledging President OBama for doing the right thing here.

    9. Alexander Montes New says:

      By all means sell the F16 to Taiwan. And also be prepared for an increasing confrontation with a China that will rearm even more rapidly than is doing so and will seek formal alliances with Russia and other such minded states. And also let the USA be aware that in order to confront China it will have to put its economic house with extreme austerity and increase in taxes in order not to depend upon the Chinese buying US government bonds. And also let the USA be aware that this will be a very prolonged confrontation in addition to what the USA already faces in the Middle East and Afghanistan for I think we should not assume that the Chinese will collapse as the Soviet Union did any time soon. So by all means arm Taiwan and be ready for the full set of circumstances and challenges that this will bring about. Anything other than a serious understanding of what all of this implies in terms of an existential and ideological confrontation with such an enemy of liberty as China and Russia are would mean that the United States would not be able to cope with all of the challenges that will soon ensue. I hope the United States can do what it takes with the seriousness and 'gravitas' that all of these challenges will require.

    10. Antonio Oliveira , M says:


      Why not the Lockheed-Northrop-BAE F35? it is the most advanced cutting edge technological strike fighter even designed and constructed. It is VSTOL (Vertical take-off and landing), it reaches between Mach 2-2.5, it is hyper manouverable and , ah I almst forgot it is 100% stealth to radar . I guess the Chinese would "love" to know that Taiwan would get their hands on those "babies".

    11. DH says:

      "let Taiwan and China build even stronger economic ties (1 in 4 Taiwanese working or have family members working in China today) and work out their differences step by step?"

      With hundreds, if not thousands, of cross-strait missiles and the threat of military invasion? You think China would "play fair" and let Taiwan have its own voice in any negotiations? It most likely would be "My way or no way". And with a communist regime breeding a population strong in nationalism, you think China would be America's "ally" in the long run? You do realize that if China does get Taiwan, either by force or reunification, not only would the US lose an ally, China would surpass the US politically, ecomomically, and militarily (and this is not being paranoid, because you can see how China manipulated the talks at COP15). I'd have no problem with this if China is a mature democracy that values freedom. Of course, one also won't have any problem with this even if China's is a one-party communist dictatorship if one's Chinese living in China.

    12. Walter Lohman Walter Lohman, The H says:


      I have no problem with Taiwan and China building closer economic relations. Everyone else in the world is allowed to make money in China, why shouldn't Taiwan? (They already do, of course, but why not let them maximize their advantages?) At the same time, they are requesting these weapons from us. Its not like we're forcing them on them. From their perspective, they'd rather deal with the mainland from a position of strength and hedge against the worst scenario. I think that's wise, and I think the U.S. should support them.

      As for an invasion from the mainland, I don't think its likely. I also think it would be extremely difficult for the PRC. There is the real possiblity they'd have to defeat the US 7th Fleet and Marines in the process. The real danger is that they'll just build on the impresson of strength and force Taiwan into a political union its people do not want without ever firing a shot.


    13. Jeff D says:

      MiWa, don't you think it is more difficult to defeat Taiwan if Taiwan has F-16? They want to take it without a fight. The main point is the US wants to make sure Taiwanese people have the choice to hand over their land to China, not to be seized by force.

    14. Ben says:

      Who cares about the economic and cultural ties between Taiwan and China? Earning profit and weakening adversaries are the real business.

    15. Bob.Maelstrom says:

      Bring Taiwan into NATO.

    16. Dr. James, Los Angel says:

      Taiwan should stop wasting time with the US and follow the lead of Brazil and India. There are European fighters that are equal or superior to the F-16, including the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Grippen, and the Rafael. If Taiwan buys those, maybe the US government will wake up.

      Moreover, with a thousand ballistic missiles pointing at them, it is time for Taiwan to build its own offensive missile force as a deterrent. And again, the US isn't necessary; advanced cruise missiles such as the French Storm Shadow, Swedish Taurus, and Indian BrahMos, would all be very capable alternatives to US weapons. (And I am quite sure the Indians would be happy to supply as many of its Mach 2.8 cruise missiles–the fastest in the world–that Taiwan wishes to buy.)

      My bet is that once Taiwan starts looking elsewhere, shows independence and gives US arms manufactures a little competition, our fickle politicians will follow.

    17. Maqi, Mali says:

      Weapons won't make this world peaceful!!! You can sell every weapons to any place you want, someone else can do the same thing. Get rid of the warmonger out of this planet!

    18. Peng, Springfield, I says:

      It is not to America's interests to sell F-16s to Taiwan. I agree with Miwa on this conclusion. However MiWa's reasons are just not right

      The logical reasons why America should not to sell these Airplanes to Taiwan are the followings

      1. Once China occupiesTaiwan, all these American Military technologies will turn out to be great gifts to China.

      2. There are already numerous Chinese spies in Taiwan. Not to mention these spies, there are a good proportion of Chinese-Taiwanese and a small proportion of Native Taiwanese who are willing to sacrifice's their current political freedom in order to get any economical rewards. It is not safe to sell Taiwan any advanced military technologies even Taiwan could remain status of quo.

      3. America already built a strong Airforce on small islands close to Taiwan. In case Taiwan really need it, American Airforce could provide the needs of Taiwan within minutes. I believe this also explains why America decided not to sell F-22 to Japan.

      Could China make 5th generation fighters? Not in the near future unless Chinese successfully steal the technologies from the West. Thanks God, there is still a huge gap that Chinese military got to catch.

      MiWa also states: "US just stay out Taiwan and let Taiwan and China build even stronger economic ties (1 in 4 Taiwanese working or have family members working in China today) and work out their differences step by step?" Well, that sounds to me the main school of Taiwan policy in Washington for years. This policy simply would not work for America's interests. There are millions of Native-Taiwanese who cherish their political freedom and would vote for Taiwan's independence. Can any form of political freedom exist under Chinese totalitarian goverment? NO! The percentage of Taiwanese supporting independence is growing. It would never be a peaceful unification unless America ship these free people out of Taiwan and give all these free people US citizenship, which is impossible. Therefore, any Taiwan-China unification will become a disaster to America's interests. It will be a big blow to America's credibility in Asia.

      How about US just stay out Japan and let Japan and China build even stronger economic ties … US just stay out of Hawaii… and how about US just stay out Israle and let Israle face a nuclear Iran? How about any terrible genocide on this earth, China does not care but America care. I can predict that China would never really help America to hold Iran nuclear plan even they finally might promise to do so verbally.

      There are only two situations that China's totalitarian goverment will cooperate with the free World. One is show them the money, the second one is show them the superior military force. Actually this comment is true to any non-democratic government and is especially true to China current government.

    19. jack says:

      if in it's TOTALY bankrupt state ,us doesn't seem to cut down in itis hollow bravado.

    20. Languid Sorrow says:

      Be on guard against naiveté. People familiar with Taiwan understand that people on Taiwan are their own friends first and foremost.

      We supported them at a time when any democracy had to be supported against global communism, but times now are very different.

      Taiwan people are Chinese people, they are all from the Fukien province in China and speak that dialect (there is no real "Taiwanese" dialect, it is Fukienese).

      Many people in Taiwan fully expect to be a province of China again sometime in the future. Others who dream of a fully independent Taiwan are suffering from a pipe dream, China would never allow it.

      Most of all remember this, that anything we give to Taiwan can, and probably will, end up in China's hands, and it may be caused by a vote in Taiwan to simply rejoin the Mainland.

      Now think very carefully about what you would be comfortable handing over directly to China, then sell that to Taiwan.

    21. Pingback: U.S. to Sell Some Arms to Taiwan, but Should Sell F-16s, Too | The … « Autions

    22. John B. San Diego says:

      We have already invited Chinese Military on the "Bridge" to observe our technology so let's pass on the technology and develop the next generation while they copy our existing technology. They are robbing it away through hacking and what we award them with voluntarily. Give it up! And don't put the next generation on any disc of any kind. And begin to watch those with access to new technology very, very closely. We are at war spies could be executed!

    23. JW, San Diego says:

      For those who may not know or know and refuse to accept, you have a country who is really trying to deter the massive threat posed to them by their neighbor less than 100 miles across the Taiwan Strait. China has absolutely refused to dismantle the now 1400+ missiles pointed towards Taiwan, even though economic and political ties have become stronger through open dialogue. Taiwan needs all the assisatnce the US can provide to them, including F-16 C/Ds. subsurface capability (as indicated in an article dated 28 January, a PLA submarine was spotted 24 miles away from Taiwan western navy port), Patriot PAC-3, and other arms. They should not and do not need nuclear capability to deter China, that will only lead to more aggression and an all out war. I say give Taiwan what they are asking for and better help them to better use what they already have.

    24. Benjamin,Taiwan says:

      @ Antonio:

      There's also the issue of cost. It's doubtful whether Taiwan would muster up the large financial wherewithal to pay for a fleet of F-35s. That being said, the Lightning II would fulfill 3 key requirements of Taiwan's:

      1) It would give the Taiwanese a SEAD capability (the stealth of the F-35 permitting the ROCAF to attack Chinese S-300 SAMs;)

      2) It would give the ROCAF a V/STOL capacity in the event that airfield runways are incapacitated early on by Chinese SRBMs at the onset of a conflict;


      3) It would give the ROCAF an air superiority fighter (stealth being the main advantageous attribute here) that would enable it to better fend off Chinese Su-27s, Su-30s, J-10s, and J-11s.

    25. Pingback: Pentagon Report Underscores Urgent Need for More Taiwan Arms | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    26. Ian says:

      Hi Nice blog, found it from another random blog

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