2010 January 30 Saturday
China Upset On US-Taiwan Arms Deal

Xinhua bluntly delivers a warning to the United States.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Ignoring repeated solemn representations made by China, the U.S. government on Friday notified Congress of its nearly 6.4 billion-U.S.-dollar arms sale package to Taiwan.

The sale is a wrong decision, which not only undermines China's national security interests and her national unification cause, but also once again hurts the national feelings of the Chinese people.

Moreover, it also will cause serious damage to the overall cooperation and relationship between China and the United States.

Frankly speaking, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have become a chronic disease that has been disturbing China-U.S. ties for a long period of time.

China's GDP is still less than a third of US levels. But it'll probably be over a half US levels in 5 years or so.

The Washington Post has an interesting article on how this latest episode fits with a recent trend where China's triumphalist attitude is worrying countries around the world. Once China becomes the most powerful country I expect political elites in many countries to look back with nostalgia on the era of American dominance.

China's indignant reaction to the announcement of U.S. plans to sell weapons to Taiwan appears to be in keeping with a new triumphalist attitude from Beijing that is worrying governments and analysts across the globe.

From the Copenhagen climate change conference to Internet freedom to China's border with India, China observers have noticed a tough tone emanating from its government, its representatives and influential analysts from its state-funded think tanks.

Calling in U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the United States would be responsible for "serious repercussions" if it did not reverse the decision to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, minesweepers and communications gear. The reaction came even though China has known for months about the planned deal, U.S. officials said.

Since Boeing is making some of the weapons for Taiwan this bodes well for future Airbus aircraft sales to China at the expense of Boeing. Though eventually China will stop buying from Western aircraft makers and use mercantilist policies to create a national champion in aircraft manufacture.

US firms are threatened.

WASHINGTON -- China curtailed military exchanges with the United States on Saturday and threatened to sanction U.S. firms in retaliation for proposed American weapon sales to Taiwan.

The moves signaled a souring of relations between the world's two largest economies.

The decline of US power and influence is going to make life more difficult for countries that will fall into China's sphere of influence.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 January 30 09:01 PM  China

Burgess said at January 31, 2010 12:10 AM:

"The decline of US power and influence is going to make life more difficult for countries that will fall into China's sphere of influence."

I don't see why it would be necessarily worse. China's sphere of influence will likely be Asia for the most part, and they'll probably promote stability and economic activity above all else in the region. They'll refrain from promoting "freedom," "democracy," and "human rights," but I don't think the US did any good in that region promoting those things.

Bob Badour said at January 31, 2010 4:13 PM:


China already has significant influence on the African continent and among some of the leftie nations in South/Central America--an area once considered part of the USA's sole hegemony.

miles said at January 31, 2010 5:59 PM:

The borrower is servant to the lender...............nukes aside, China is ascendant and we are descendant. We are getting dumber, they are getting smarter, they make many things, we are making fewer and fewer things. Once China has a large enough nuke arsenal (about 1,000 warheads with capability to hit the USA), and something of a missile defense system, and enough of a Navy/Air Force to project power and protect shipping lanes from the middle east (oil), then the gloves will come off. Our businesspeople whore-out this nation for their own personal profit, Chinese business interests look out for China.

Pride goeth before the fall. I think our elite is so profoundly racist in the truest sense of the word, they think they will always be able to outfox nations like China if they ever have too. They are wrong. Greece, Rome, Egypt, and even Great Britan once looked like unbeatable world powers. In 150 years, I wonder what we will look like to the world............

Burgess said at January 31, 2010 7:58 PM:

You can expand terms like "sphere of influence" and "significant influence" very broadly, but I don't think it's very useful or meaningful.

Anyway, I don't think China's increasing relative influence in places like Africa and South America will necessarily be worse compared to what they had under US hegemony, especially if China simply promotes authoritarian stability and economic activity. The last things those places need are "freedom" and "democracy," which as we've seen over the past 60 years are simply invitations to endless anarchic power struggles conducted by alpha male guerrilla warriors playing the "Big Man" game of politics and trying to establish dominance and install themselves as dictators.

It'd be much better to cut all that bullshit out and set up an authoritarian gov't that maintains at least some degree of stability, promotes a decent level of economic activity, nips rabble rousers in the bud, etc.

Not saying that they'd be great places or utopias or anything. Just the best you can hope for places that like that.

no i don't said at February 3, 2010 4:15 PM:

I agree with Miles. This one view of his is an objective one, and the saying "Pride goeth before the fall" is also a true one.

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