Arms sales a clear breach of promise

China Daily
Chen Zhuo
2022-08-19 10:33:13

Photo taken on Aug 10, 2021 shows the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

Wednesday marked the 40th anniversary of the United States-China Joint Communique on United States Arms Sales to Taiwan, in which the US promised to gradually reduce its arms sales to the island on the basis of its sales worth $192 million in 1979.

However malleable the document, which is also known as the August 17 Communique, might be in the eyes of Washington as far as its rhetoric is concerned, what cannot be denied is the promise the US made to gradually reduce its arms sales to the island in order to maintain sound bilateral relations between the two countries.

However, what the US has done has proved that it is not a country of its word. The total arms sales to Taiwan have amounted to more than $70 billion in the past 43 years since 1979. With the approval of $108 million arms sales to the island by the US State Department in recent days, the Joe Biden administration has already approved five batches of arms sales to Taiwan in only a year and half since it took office.

With its Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances, the US has always used Taiwan as a pawn in its strategy to contain the rise of China. This has become particularly so when China's rapid development has made it the world's second-largest economy.

At the same time, the Democratic Progressive Party authorities on the island have proved to be willing and indiscriminate buyers of the US' previous generation arms, which has made it a convenient and lucrative dumping ground for the US' no-longer wanted weaponry.

Washington pays no heed to the fact that its arms sales have emboldened secessionists on the island, whose maneuvers aimed at securing the island's de facto "independence" have intensified the tensions across the Taiwan Straits.

Shutting its eyes to the promise it made in the August 17 Communique, the US has placed its interest and strategic goal of containing the rise of China before honoring its pledge.

The US has shown no qualms about betraying the fact that the law of the jungle is still the principle it abides by when it comes to geopolitical games despite the banner of human rights and freedom it always wields when it interferes in the internal affairs of other countries.

China has made clear that it considers the US' arms sales to Taiwan to be a major barrier to the development of China-US relations. The US' continued arms sales to the island will only further damage its ties with China.

The US will definitely stumble in pursuing its interest if it does not abide by the norms of international relations and honor its promises. The US should mend its way and act responsibly in the interests of world peace and development.

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