China’s Tantrum on Taiwan Arms Deal

The New York Times
Date: DEC. 24, 2015
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

China predictably and vociferously complained when the Obama

Photo Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Photo
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

administration announced plans last week to sell $1.8 billion in arms to Taiwan. Zheng Zeguang, China’s vice foreign minister, said the deal violates international law, the basic norms of international relations and the principles of three joint communiqués with the United States, while severely damaging China’s sovereignty and security interests.

The complaints are overblown. This is a modest and unsurprising sale from the United States, which has been supplying Taiwan with weapons for years. More important, China’s military might vastly surpasses Taiwan’s. Chinese leaders would do better to look at how the tensions over the sale flow directly from their own actions.

If Beijing had not stationed hundreds of missiles opposite the self-governing island and left open the possibility of seizing Taiwan by force at some point, Taiwan’s arsenal would be much less of an issue. China has also fed concerns about its regional ambitions by laying claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, the waterway for some $5.3 trillion in annual international trade.     [FULL  STORY]

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