Taiwan is the only Chinese-speaking society in the world that gives citizens the power to select their leaders through competitive free and fair elections.
Taiwan voters exercised that right Saturday and significantly changed the island's balance of political power.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), on the progressive side of the spectrum, won the presidency and an absolute majority in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's parliament, ousting the more conservative Kuomintang (KMT).
China fears, rightly or wrongly, that the DPP is committed to legal independence from mainland China, and thus poses a challenge to its own objective of ultimate unification.
That could foster political instability between China and Taiwan -- something that Washington does not wish to see.… Seguir leyendo »
The Obama administration informed Congress last month that it would proceed with the upgrade of Taiwan's fleet of 145 F-16 jet aircraft. The decision is controversial. China firmly opposes any U.S. effort to assist Taiwan militarily. Although Taiwan expressed gratitude for the decision, it had sought 66 new F-16s in the more advanced C/D models (it now has the A/B models). Taiwan's friends in Congress and defense contractors had argued for the C/Ds.
Taipei's disappointment belies the fact that this decision constitutes a real contribution to Taiwan's security and underscores the U.S. commitment to Taiwan. The A/B upgrade will significantly improve Taiwan's deterrent against Chinese military power.… Seguir leyendo »
Not surprisingly, China is responding badly to the Pentagon's $6-billion arms sale to Taiwan. The Beijing government has suspended security exchanges with the Pentagon and promised to sanction American defense companies. Chinese scholars and other commentators see nefarious motives in the U.S. action and warn of negative consequences. Some call for tough retaliation. High dudgeon is in season. In Washington, some worry that Beijing will withdraw its cooperation on matters of real importance to the United States, such as Iran and North Korea.
Before we panic over the high-pitched Chinese reaction, it is worth remembering the reasons for the Obama administration's decision.… Seguir leyendo »
The Post asked foreign policy experts if Obama's trip was a success or an embarrassment. Below are contributions from Michael Auslin, Michael Green, Victor Cha, Danielle Pletka, Douglas E. Schoen, Richard C. Bush, Elizabeth C. Economy, David Shambaugh and Yang Jianli.
The optics of the president's trip fulfilled his stated intention of announcing that the United States was "back" in Asia, but the lack of tangible policy results suggest it was a success of style over substance.
Meeting with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and a statement that the United States will "engage" with the free-trade Trans Pacific Partnership does not substitute for a full trade policy.… Seguir leyendo »