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A few days ago communist China launched its first (albeit recycled) aircraft carrier. Whatever else this is, it is an attempt to project Chinese authority over the Western Pacific.

A renewed reason to demonstrate and affirm moral and material support to our non-communist allies in Asia.

But virtually simultaneously, the news that the US has bowed to pressure from communist China, and will not supply F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan as expected.

China has called the sale a “red line.” A recent editorial in the state-controlled People’s Daily called for the use of a “financial weapon” against the U.S. if new F-16s were released.

The U.S. decision comes as a blow to the self-ruled island’s effort to counter China’s growing military, whose first aircraft carrier began sea trials last week, and therefore to its independence.

There are fears that losing Taiwan could spell the end of U.S. power projection in the region. Losing Taiwan would “change everything from the operational arch perspective to the posture of Japan and the U.S.” in the region, said Raytheon’s Asia president, Walter Doran, a retired admiral who once commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

An ordinary level of commonsense financial management would not have left the West so vulnerable to the pressure of a threatened ‘financial weapon.’

A set of balls in the White House would also help.

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