Let China complain: America should approve Taiwan’s arms purchase – Washington Examiner

The United States should advance a new plan to allow Taiwan’s $2 billion purchase of weapons.

Media reports suggest the deal will focus on anti-tank and anti-air missiles and new tanks. That figures: Those platforms would help Taiwan defend against the overwhelming air and missile attack that China would employ in any attack. The purchases would sit alongside improvements to Taiwan’s defense portfolio, such as its modernizing air force.

China, predictably, is apoplectic over the looming sale. The Chinese foreign ministry is urging “the U.S. to fully understand the high sensitivity and serious harm of the issue of arms sales to Taiwan and abide by the one-China principle.”

The U.S. should ignore that complaint.

After all, China has invited this new envelope of U.S. support for Taiwan by harassing air traffic, by its military buildup proximate to Taiwan, and by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s frequent attestations of Taiwan’s looming reunification with China. Although it is not in the U.S. national interest to exacerbate these tensions to the point of war, neither should we allow Beijing to pursue an unrestrained hostile policy. That course of action will only embolden Xi, leading him to believe he can corral or force Taiwan’s submission. It will make war more, not less, likely.

Ultimately, then, this sale would match President Trump’s “America First” doctrine to traditional American global leadership. The $2 billion sale would benefit the U.S. economy, but it would also support our democratic values.

China was already squealing this week about lower-level U.S. arms sales. Now let them now squeal some more.

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