Analysts mostly agree that China’s aggressive undersea fleet buildup is a serious threat to Taiwan, and they call on Washington to supply Taiwan with diesel-electric submarines. In 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush decided to help Taiwan acquire eight diesel-electric submarines, but there has been little progress since then. (“‘No one has the guts to sell submarines to Taiwan’ as China pressures Pentagon,” Web, Oct. 29).
China continues to maintain the option of using force against Taiwan. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army builds up its forces primarily to be used to invade Taiwan and prevent intervention from foreign forces. It is making the Taiwan Strait a potentially dangerous area.
Russia reportedly plans to sell a variant of its new Amur 1650 attack submarine to the Chinese. Meanwhile, China recently fulfilled its four-decade quest to join the elite club of countries with nuclear subs that can ply the high seas. China’s increasingly potent and active sub force not only bolsters China’s nuclear arsenal, it is also an integral part of an emerging strategy to prevent the United States from intervening in a cross-Strait conflict.
Peace does not come through miracles. It comes through perseverance, enterprise, strength and support from friends and allies. President Obama’s trip to China will offer a critical opportunity to preserve and enhance one of his key foreign-policy achievements; namely, restoring balance to Asia.
I strongly urge Mr. Obama’s administration to move forward with congressional notification for phase one of a two-phase program toward providing Taiwan with new submarines and continue to assist Taiwan to stand firm in the Strait, the East China Sea and South China Sea and become an anchor in the West Pacific.
Overseas Chinese Affairs Council of Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States