"China press furious at US 'arrogance' on Taiwan - Mon, Feb 01, 2010 AFP
BEIJING (AFP) - China's state media on Monday lashed out at Washington's 'arrogance' and 'double standards' in going ahead with arms sales to Taiwan, saying Beijing's threat to penalise US companies over the deal was very real.
The Pentagon sparked the latest challenge to China-US ties under President Barack Obama when it approved the $6.4 billion sale to Taiwan of Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, mine-hunting ships and other weaponry.
China responded furiously, saying it would suspend military and security contacts with Washington and impose sanctions on US companies involved in the deal."
This is a very unusual development in the supposedly increasingly cordial mutually beneficial relationship between the USA and China under the Obama's leadership. At least I am a bit confused on who is driving this potentially divisive issue between 2 of the world biggest countries who need each other - well maybe USA needs China a bit more at this point. Is this the Obama administration or the Taiwan government or both? What do they expect the Chinese authority to respond to such a gesture? Would it not be considered provocative given the delicate emphasis placed by the Chinese on the assertion that "Taiwan is part of China"?
Lessons for me are:
1. diplomacy is always a puzzling game to play. The truth can be twisted facts. Friends can be enemies. Enemies can be friends as long as they can be used as bargaining chips or counter-weight! Such is the belief in the foreign affairs that nothing is absolute. Nothing is not negotiable. While it is true in most cases, each country does have their core base lines! In China, Taiwan is not negotiable. Just like Tibet is not negotiable. I think the Americans need to understand that and TRULY respect that;
2. Is the Taiwan government playing this game due to the recent setback of losing the by-election badly as it is seen to be too friendly to the communist China? If so, this is also a dangerous game to play as China has, absolutely the power to determine the economy of Taiwan at this point in time. Many of the Taiwanese businesses are based in China for manufacturing and China is their biggest market! Of course, if we talk about dignity and all that, Taiwanese are free to decide who they want to befriend with. For most ordinary citizens or people, the bread and butter issue take precedence most of the time. After all it is Taiwan returning to the Motherland and not some foreign country invading and occupying it!;
3. If we can put a price on peaceful coexistence between USA and China, the price of US$6B of this supposedly arms deal is just NOT worth it! There are biggest things waiting for China and the USA to do and resolve on the world stage. Iran and North Korea are definitely countries that can impact the global peace and stability in a bigger way!
The USA will need to ignore the 'aggressive rhetoric' from the Chinese authority and some of the Chinese 'citizens' or netizens on this issue. Some will obviously spout irrational and totally emotional opinions. Those are to be ignored. It is a charade played by the Chinese authority. There is a need to be seen by its people that the government is responding aggressively in the open. In private, IF the 'enemies' are willing to negotiate, things can move forward. This is the Chinese foreign diplomacy!!