The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for the ‘military and defense’ Category

Twofer on Weapons

Michael Chase, who writes cogently on Taiwan defense issues, has a new piece out in the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief on Taiwan’s Defense Budget: how much is enough in the new era of cross-strait lovefesting? Ok, so he didn’t title it that way…an excerpt:
Taiwan’s ambitious force modernization goals include procurement of P-3C maritime patrol aircraft, [...]

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Looking Backwards

Taiwan News editorializes on worrisome developments in the military:
For over seven decades on the China mainland and Taiwan, the military and intelligence and security services of the Republic of China were explicitly at the service of the “party,” namely the autocratic “Chinese Nationalist Party” (or Kuomintang) ever since the founding of the Whampoa (or Huangbu) [...]

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Appeasement of China Reaches Unprecedented Heights as Bush Capitulates on Arms

Had a lot of trouble titling this one…. Wendell Minnick reports from Taipei for Defense News that the Bush Administration has frozen arms sales to Taiwan.
As China and Taiwan prepare for their first official talks in more than a decade, sources in both Taipei and Washington say the U.S. State Department has decided to freeze [...]

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Hammond-Chambers: Taiwan’s Security on Hold

When you listen to US government officials and the punditocracy talk, what you hear is that Taiwan is to blame for dragging its feet on the arms purchases from the US. The island, we’re told, isn’t serous about its own defense. While it is true that the KMT-dominated legislature has caused grave harm to relations [...]

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US Nuke Deployments to Taiwan

The FAS blog has a great piece on US nuclear weapons deployments to Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s….
Nuclear weapons also were deployed to Taiwan. As mentioned above, the Matador cruise missile was already present on the island when the Taiwan Strait crisis erupted. The nuclear bombs arrived in January [...]

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China Threatens US Defense Contractors

And he writhed inside at what seemed like the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.
The reliably excellent Wendell Minnick has a couple of stories out this week. The [...]

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US Weapons Give Taiwan Confidence to Seek Peace with China

A moment of silence for Bo Yang, the famed mainlander writer, critic, and gadfly jailed under the KMT, who died yesterday at the age of 88, of lung disease. If you haven’t laughed your way through his satirical collection of writing on Chinese culture called The Ugly Chinaman, you should….(Wiki on Bo Yang)
In case you [...]

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Fox Paws and Snafus

The Taipei Times reported that President elect Ma Ying-jeou had already flatpetered his first essay into the US-China-Taiwan diplomatic swamp:
The US administration on Monday sidestepped questions about whether president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would be permitted to visit Washington before his inauguration in May, while some sources said that Ma may already have sparked a [...]

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Election Day Hike

On election day, rather than torture myself by waiting for the election returns, I went hiking in Keelung to visit some of the old military structures in the area and hang out with my good friends Jeff Miller, Michael Fahey, and an Englishman named Laurence, of the Petrochemical Industry. (As always, click on any pic [...]

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Singapore Fondles China’s Youknowwhats Again

Three years ago Mark Chen, then Taiwan’s foreign minister, lashed out at Singapore officials for their remarks on Taiwan’s drive for independence and democracy, using colorful Taiwanese idiom that made his comments instantly memorable:
An exasperated Chen, speaking in the earthy Taiwanese dialect rather than the more formal Mandarin that is supposed to be the national [...]

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Catapulting the Propaganda

The powerful effect of pro-China propagandizing is seen in this translation of a piece from the Asia Times on the US Nimitz deployment to Japan, arguing that it is linked to the Taiwan election in March:
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz of the US Navy arrived in Japan on 11 February. An analysis maintains that [...]

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Report: US Should Enhance Ties With Taiwan

A new report out from the Taiwan Policy Working Group, a joint project of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Armitage International, argues that the US needs upgrade and expand its ties with Taiwan and stop enabling Beijing’s suppression of Taipei. Taiwan News describes:
The report argues that the issue is urgent now that U.S.-Taiwan [...]

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Views Across the Pacific

After suffering all weekend from cold and food poisoning, Sunday turned out to be a gorgeous day, so I went out and didn’t blog. Meanwhile future Secretary of Something or Other Lief-Eric Eisley has a long and balanced piece commenting on the lack of trust in the US-Taiwan relationship, adapted from a piece that went [...]

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Espionage Mirage

Plenty of stuff on military front today. First, Wendell Minnick reports that Blackwater, the mercenary firm, is training Taiwan’s NSB:
U.S.-based Blackwater is training members of the Taiwanese National Security Bureau’s (NSB’s) special protection service, which guards the president. The NSB is responsible for the overall security of the country and was once an instrument of [...]

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More on the Taiwan-Related Spy Cases

The New York Daily News has a couple of detailed articles on the cases of people spying for our responsible partner in a stable regional framework. One is about the son of a good friend:
“All I can say is that I’m in shock,” their son said Tuesday. “I used to go on vacation with him. [...]

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