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Bush Administration Seen Blocking Arms Packages For Taiwan

By | September 29, 2008

      President Bush is failing to provide action required to facilitate provision of new arms to Taiwan, a military analyst said.

      Therefore, a White House decision on the issue likely may be punted to the next president, who will take office in January, according to John J. Tkacik Jr., senior research fellow in China, Taiwan, and Mongolia policy with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.

      The Bush administration has frozen a bundle of eight major defense packages vial to Taiwan security, Tkacik argued in a paper.

      "As Taiwan engages Beijing directly with new initiatives across the Taiwan Strait, its leaders now lack the single most important asset they need to negotiate successfully with Beijing: a strong military defense," Tkacik argued.

      China has enacted a law stating that if Taiwan doesn’t submit to rule by Beijing, soon, then China will invade Taiwan. The United States opposes such violence, and historically was seen as committed to aid Taiwan in its defense. But Tkacik wonders if Bush is abandoning Taiwan.

      "The clock is winding down on the current U.S. congressional session, so it is looking increasingly likely that the decision to meet Taiwan’s defense needs will fall to the next Administration"

      Tkacik’s paper titled "Taiwan’s Defense Hobbled by U.S. Arms ‘Freeze’" can be read in full at on the Web.

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