by Dennis P. Halpin
December 04, 2013
Beijing has evidently perceived a new opportunity to move the goal posts on its long-term number one priority of reduction of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Some observers of cross-Strait relations have even made a prognosis of U.S.-Taiwan relations as being “fairly grim” for the long term. Beijing’s spokesmen have now taken a soft sell approach. This is even true on the arms sales issue which has galled them for three decades. The strategic stability of the Taiwan Strait relies on a peaceful environment that enables both Taiwan and mainland China to conduct sustained engagement and enhance mutual understanding. In this regard, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have significantly strengthened Taiwan’s confidence to pursue its policy to engage with Beijing.