No matter what the U.S. does, China seems ready to dance and is ready to take Taiwan back under its thumb, and not just the hands-off ownership that they have had for decades. So, when the U.S. announced $1.1 billion in arms heading to Taiwan, it was no surprise that China issues a response.
With 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles on the wait to Taiwan, they are becoming more well-armed than they have been in decades. Even more important is the $655 million in logistics that is heading to the tiny nation. Focused on their surveillance program, this package provides incredibly detailed air defense warnings.
Oddly enough though, the U.S. officials were quick to point out that this package deal changes absolutely nothing with the status of the official stance on Taiwan. Per an anonymous State Department spokesman “These proposed sales are routine cases to support Taiwan’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.” It also serves as another piece in the Biden-promised Taiwan support package.
Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, has had a statement of her own to give. Claiming that this sale “severely jeopardizes China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary countermeasures in light of the development of the situation.” This kind of rhetoric from Chinese officials is unsurprising, to say the least.
Their official stance that Taiwan is a part of China is something that they have been leaning on for decades. Despite this opinion, Taiwan has been operating nearly independently of any Chinese influence or power. Taiwan has been using its own currency and operating its own economy. So, for China to claim any sort of ownership or leadership over the nation is comical at best.
The U.S. response of attempting to support a free Taiwan while maintaining the stance that there is but “One China” is an incredibly dangerous and foolish move by the Biden administration. This isn’t the 1980s when people were expected to say one thing and do another. That mindset never really caught on in China either. Instead, they have been very direct and deliberate in their statements and actions. Something the US has failed greatly at when it comes to foreign policy, especially under President Biden.
For their part, China has been pushing to expand its borders toward Taiwan as well as Japan for ages. Their creation of man-made islands and their push to take over the Straight of Taiwan has been horrifically strong in the last few years. A nation taking these steps isn’t one just trying to reclaim what they have believed is their land.
Rather, this is a country looking to start ramping up the pressure and start an armed conflict with another nation. With the US as their main rhetoric opponent, it would appear as if they are ready to stand toe-to-toe with the US and see how they measure up. Given the warnings of the Sleeping Dragon that China would be and the weakened military thanks to 20 years of conflicts in the middle east, this is not a conflict we need.
It’s not that the U.S. is scared or incapable of achieving victory in China. Rather, it’s that the people we have currently making up the US military are lacking in numbers compared to the manning numbers they are supposed to have on hand. This means many are doing the work and playing the role of three or more people who aren’t assigned to their unit. This doesn’t make for a combat-ready military, and for Biden to act like we are capable of fighting at a moment’s notice is a dangerous move. Thankfully, this sale is nothing more than fulfilling a prior promise.