With China: America Can't Teach, Nor Does It Learn

by LESLIE SACKS December 7, 2011
An American-made F-16 in Taiwan.
China has repeatedly and belligerently advertised their “concern” about every plan the US has made to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons.  To imagine Taiwan as the aggressor, as a risk to mainland China, is pure sophistry.  The reverse however is everywhere evident.  Yet General Liang of the People’s Liberation Army has often in the past emphatically denounced U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as seriously damaging China’s core interests. 
Clearly China feels it’s their absolute right to liberate Taiwan from its successfully functioning democracy of 14 years (it originally obtained effective independence in 1945); and to do so by force.  Otherwise why focus like a laser on primarily weapons deals?
The White House approach is now in unlimited negotiating ladled with a liberal amount of pandering.  China’s unambiguous snubs show how little this approach means to them.  Yet we seem to repeat the same mistakes, again and again with Iran, Russia, China and others.  They understand our weaknesses only too well and we seem to now effectively hide our strengths in order to gain international acceptance and favor.
A most simple resolution to the White House’s quandary is to call China’s bluff.  Let’s drag North Korea into the discussion and link increased arms sales to Taiwan and South Korea to conducive Chinese leverage in denuclearizing North Korea – finally and transparently.  Since North Korea is totally dependent on China for energy, raw materials and its economic “life blood”, China could turn off the tap and achieve critical North Korean accommodations instantaneously. 
Yet it refuses.  Why?  Because China, not the U.S., makes demands, communicates threats and acts the Asian bully.  If they refuse the U.S. demands then we still get to militarily shore up our good friends and allies Taiwan and South Korea and further help balance our budget with much needed exports.  All to the good; and if they alternatively participate in pushing recalcitrant North Korea towards denuclearization – fantastic.  There is no downside. 
Why is the White House so oblivious to that simplicity?
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Leslie Sacks is an art dealer and gallerist in Los Angeles. He has a blog called Strength and Tolerance. Feedback:editorialdirector@familysecuritymatters.org.

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