Chabot on Arms Sale
During a talk at the Heritage Foundation, Chabot joined the chorus of those inside and outside the US government calling on Taiwan to purchase the arms offered them in 2001.
I want to be very frank with you: I am very disappointed that this special budget has languishedThe special arms budget currently consists of eight submarines and 12 sub-hunting aircraft, as the other elements of the sale (eg: Patriot missiles) have been relocated to the annual defense budget. (For more information on the sale and its importance, see this post)
If this doesn't move forward in the near future, there are many members of Congress here who may reevaluate their support, the extent of their support to Taiwan.
While I certainly understand Chabot's frustration, I don't think that such comments are helpful. It only reinforces the impression, that I discussed in a previous post on Richard Halloran's article, that America's friendship can be bought one arms contractor at a time. Chabot's speech was certainly the "American version" of the argument I discuss in the Halloran post, but it will certainly be interpretted in accordance with the "Taiwanese version."
I certainly agree with many of Chabot's points, such as:
If Taiwan is strong, it will probably never be militarily tested. If Taiwan is weak, the challenge may come sooner than you think.Having said that, I don't think this speech is going to help and it will probably hurt America's image in Taiwan and elsewhere.