- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 31, 2001

Tony Blankleys March 28 Op-Ed column "Bush denies Aegis sale" says China fears that if Taiwan has the Aegis system, it will push for independence and develop closer ties with the United States.

Closer U.S.-Taiwan relations would develop if the United States links the Aegis-equipped destroyers to a theater missile defense system ("Caution or urgency in arms for Taiwan?" Commentary, March 28).

The United States should avoid this collaboration. It would amount to a de-facto military alliance, contrary to U.S. policy, which recognizes the People´s Republic of China as the legitimate government of a country that includes Taiwan.

While the United States should stick to its goals of not destabilizing the arms balance in the region with an Aegis sale, the short-range missile deployment facing Taiwan is a real threat. If the Aegis sale goes through, then the missile deployment could only get worse. If the sale is deferred, more could be done to improve relations between China and Taiwan.

The Navy and the companies building the destroyers have been lobbying Congress aggressively to promote the sale. Two of the destroyers would be built in a shipyard in Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott´s state of Mississippi.

The Bush administration should resist the lobbyists and promote peaceful dialogue rather than favoring one side with a destabilizing arms sale.


Galveston, Texas

I was a bit dismayed by the one-sided Commentary piece "Caution or urgency in arms for Taiwan?" written by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Craig Thomas (March 28).

I understand their concern that selling advanced weapons systems to Taiwan could be bad for U.S.-China relations. The authors seem to forget, however, that Taiwan wants to buy these systems to defend itself against China´s huge military buildup aimed directly at Taiwan. The authors also are wrong to think that the People´s Republic of China officials are willing to discuss "anything" with Taiwan.

The communist dictators in Beijing have not shown any "flexibility and constructive thinking." Instead, they continue to intimidate Taiwan. They repeatedly have said that no dialogue can resume until Taiwan accepts their definition of "one China," which means that Taiwan must submit totally to Beijing´s control.

Taiwan, in contrast, often expresses good will to China and has set no preconditions for resuming dialogue with Beijing.

It is understandable that the United States would like to have a more positive relationship with China, but not at the cost of Taiwan´s democracy.



Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide