Taiwan's Purchase of Military Goods affect China-U.S Relations

February 23, 2010
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TAIWAN- As of February 5th, Taiwan officials announced its purchase of 20 military helicopters from the European manufacturer, Eurocopter, for an estimated $111 million dollars. But not only has Eurocopter been selling helicopters to Taiwan, President Obama has also made a proposal to sell $ 6.4 billion dollars of military arms to Taiwan, which, has infuriated China and intensified an already bitter relationship.
China, a country to which US owes trillions of dollars, still has yet to make a statement about Obama’s proposal, "What is equally odd about the contract award is China has remained silent on the issue after it threatened to sanction U.S. companies selling arms to Taiwan and occurs at the same time European leaders have been pushing for a lifting of arms exports to China," Defense News said. Defense News is a world wide newsweekly on defense, technology, business, and politics.
However, previous countries that have sold military goods to Taiwan have faced serious consequences courtesy of the Chinese government, which has already threatened that if Obama does go through with the proposal that could mean China could put sanctions on U.S firms. Eurocopter is only a branch to the German based EADS, one of the leaders in aerospace technology and with a turnover of 4.6 billions Euros. In 2009, it announced itself as the number one helicopter manufacturer in the world. Shortly after Taiwan’s announcement Eurocopter released a brief statement confirming the purchase: "Eurocopter confirms that, following an international tender, it has been selected by Taiwan for the purchase of 3 EC225 civil helicopters, which will be used for search and rescue missions."
The U.S’s current proposal to sell to Taiwan is far from completed. The military supplies that Taiwan have been requesting, such as 66 of the latest F-16 fighters, aren’t even on the list. In fact, the proposal lack several other types military equipment Taiwan is requesting, but in a law passed in 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act requires that the US sells military goods to Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act was established under former President Carter in order to create a mutually beneficial relationship with Taiwan. Not only would the U.S be obligated to send Taiwan military arms, but also help resist any other countries trying to denounce Taiwan’s independent entity.
The reason for China’s actions is its history with Taiwan. The civil war in China lasted for years between the nationalists and the communists only to have the communists become the victor. In 1949, the nationalist supporters of Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island of Taiwan after they had lost the Chinese civil war to communist supporters of Mao Zedong. China has sworn to rule Taiwan even if it would mean unlawful use of military power.
Many people believe however, U.S could take their factories and businesses out of China and into surround countries such as India. Despite China’s threats, many officials believe that neither China nor the U.S can afford a split with one another. The interdependent relationship of trade between is so heavily reliant on one another, that if it were to stop, severe economic problems could result.





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