The KMT is reported to be mulling over changing its stance on the arms package. This has been rumored for a couple of weeks now; last week the papers reported that the PFP had threatened to join with the DPP in forcing the KMT to return its stolen properties to the nation if the KMT reversed its stance on the arms package.

The KMT report suggested that the party block the purchase of Patriot missile batteries, but approve the purchase of the P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and diesel-powered submarines as part of the national defense budget beginning in 2007, the report said. If the DPP accepted the proposal, the KMT would pass the arms-procurement bill, it said.

The report said Ma took the proposal seriously. For political reasons, however, the KMT will not release the report until after the year-end local elections.

The KMT seems to be using the report to establish a credible basis for a switch in policy after next election. I have blogged on this before, when they floated the trial balloon that it was bad for a pro-independence party to have the weapons but good for a pro-China party to have them. One might note that the package includes the P-3C maritime patrol airacraft and the subs, but not the Patriot missiles. The subs are useless in a war with China, while the P-3Cs cannot fufill their function unless Taiwan controls the airspace around the island, which, unless the US changes its mind drastically, it isn’t going to be able to do. However, the party is blocking the Patriot missiles, which might well knock down Chinese missiles and aircraft. In other words, the KMT is blocking the one really effective weapon, while letting the less useful ones in. What nation benefits from that policy?

It will be interesting to see how the PFP responds to signs of wavering in the KMT ranks.

Also great was Mayor Ma telling the same lies as before:

“The Bush administration in the US agreed to the arms-procurement bill in 2001, but the DPP government did not present the bill until 2004, nine days before the legislative session ended,” Ma said. “The whole process is problematic, and I think the DPP should take responsibility for the difficulties.”

Is the DPP the party that has blocked a vote on the legislation 32 times? Don’t think so….I’ve explained before why Ma’s claim is a bit of KMT propaganda.