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U.S. official warns of China, Taiwan conflict

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's top intelligence official suggested Thursday that China's massive military spending will spur continued U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in order to maintain a military balance in the potentially dangerous Taiwan Strait.

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told lawmakers that China's double-digit annual percentage military spending increases — last year's budget jumped 17.6 percent to about $61 billion — “pose a reater threat to Taiwan.”

“Unless Taiwan does something about it, then we're really the only other country helping them do it,” Blair said. “That means we're going to have to help them some more in order to maintain a balance.”

Much of China's military is focused on rival Taiwan, which relies on U.S. weapons and technology to counter the hundreds of missiles China aims at the self-governing island Beijing claims as its own territory.

U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are a persistent source of U.S.-China tension — Beijing was infuriated by the Bush administration's announcement last year of a US$6.5 billion arms package for Taiwan. The United States is required to provide the island with weapons to defend itself and has hinted it would come to Taiwan's aid if mainland forces invaded. But Washington is also wary of angering China, a major trading partner and fellow U.N. Security Council member.

Blair, a retired admiral who heads 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, told a Senate panel that the United States must continue to “make sure that military adventures are unattractive” to both sides. He indicated that the U.S. feels responsible for striking a balance in the Strait.

“Taiwan should not be so defenseless that it feels it has to do everything that China says. On the other hand, China cannot be so overwhelming that it can bully Taiwan,” Blair said, answering congressional questions about the U.S. intelligence agencies' latest assessment of threats to the United States.

He also cautioned that “Taiwan has to realize that its long-term security lies in some sort of an arrangement with China. It does not lie in military defenses.”

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing threatens to attack should Taiwan formalize its de facto independence. The United States and China came close to conflict over Taiwan in 1996, when President Bill Clinton deployed warships in response to China lobbing missiles into waters near Taiwan.

Blair called recent warming ties between China and Taiwan “positive” and “very encouraging.” New Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has worked to defuse tensions and expand trade with China.

But Blair also said in testimony that Chinese “preparations for a possible Taiwan conflict continue to drive the modernization goals of the People's Liberation Army and the Chinese defense-industrial complex.”

February 17, 2009    KKAy2000@
"Taiwan has to realize that its long-term security lies in some sort of an arrangement with China. It does not lie in military defenses."

THIS SENTENCE MAKES SENSE; the others don't.
March 2, 2009    baikaria.he@
The U.S. can't get its nose out of other countries.
May 15, 2009    azn@
baikaria.he@ wrote:
The U.S. can't get its nose out of other countries.
Agreed. Leave the issue alone to China.

History states that China and Taiwan are the same thing, that Taiwan has always been a part of China and always will. Let the reunification happen. It'll make so many other problems disappear and will make China happy. Even if Taiwan is both a province of China and a Special Administrative Region like Hong Kong (part of China) and Macau (part of China).

Those people need to accept that they're Chinese. They have to be proud that they are, and not ashamed, hiding the facts by concealing it in a statement of being "Taiwanese."
May 15, 2009    cigars898@
 
azn@ wrote:
Agreed. Leave the issue alone to China.

History states that China and Taiwan are the same thing, that Taiwan has always been a part of China and always will. Let the reunification happen. It'll make so many other problems disappear and will make China happy. Even if Taiwan is both a province of China and a Special Administrative Region like Hong Kong (part of China) and Macau (part of China).

Those people need to accept that they're Chinese. They have to be proud that they are, and not ashamed, hiding the facts by concealing it in a statement of being "Taiwanese."
"History states"? Where did history state that? In a PRC history book? Let me guess AZN, you must be from China. The other thing that history does is constantly change and make new history. When was the last time the PRC was in control of Taiwan? Let me answer that for you, "never!" Taiwanese are not ashamed to be Chinese if you are talking race here. But I wouldn't even waste my spit on the PRC. Why would people in Taiwan who live in freedom ever want anything to do with the "Thugs from China"? Why do you think China is entitled to anything that I have?
May 17, 2009    mrey@
I think that if Taiwan decided independence is what they want then it should be granted. They are a separate government entirely to China and do not share similar political ideologies and this could engender a serious conflict should a forced reunification occur. Yes, Chinese and Taiwanese are the same people in that they share the same rich culture and incredibly multifaceted history, but this does not give necessity for reunification. If this were the case world wide then the United Kingdom would be able to claim both America and Australia still as part of its nation state (given that the vast majority of the people that occupy these states came from the UK) and that is simply laughable. Taiwan having its independence doesn't mean that China cannot continue its incredibly successful and highly lucrative economic relations with Taiwan and go further to forge even greater diplomatic and economic relations. This kind of relationship is feasible as China gets its economic satisfaction and the Taiwan people get to call themselves Taiwanese. It is peaceful and benefits both sides.
May 20, 2009    mfang11@
I totally agree. Taiwan should follow the will of its people. That is the essence of democracy.
May 20, 2009    skylarjones@
baikaria.he@ wrote:
The U.S. can't get its nose out of other countries.
The US doesn't keep its nose outside of the ROC's business because the ROC likes to have choice, the ability for every voice in it's borders to have equal say. Until the PRC understands that, there will never be reunification.
May 20, 2009    rtn_dtn@
Americans will not allow the governing administration, whether Democrat or Republican, to drag the nation into military conflict with PRC. Taiwanese & DPP must accept the consequence of provoking conflict with PRC. US shall remain willing to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan but shall commit no further.
June 8, 2009    waterdevil@
mrey@ wrote:
I think that if Taiwan decided independence is what they want then it should be granted. They are a separate government entirely to China and do not share similar political ideologies and this could engender a serious conflict should a forced reunification occur. Yes, Chinese and Taiwanese are the same people in that they share the same rich culture and incredibly multifaceted history, but this does not give necessity for reunification. If this were the case world wide then the United Kingdom would be able to claim both America and Australia still as part of its nation state (given that the vast majority of the people that occupy these states came from the UK) and that is simply laughable. Taiwan having its independence doesn't mean that China cannot continue its incredibly successful and highly lucrative economic relations with Taiwan and go further to forge even greater diplomatic and economic relations. This kind of relationship is feasible as China gets its economic satisfaction and the Taiwan people get to call themselves Taiwanese. It is peaceful and benefits both sides.
During the dynasties of china, if you, mrey have looked into, Taiwain belongs to China.
June 8, 2009    dpptaiwan.co@
 
azn@ wrote:
Agreed. Leave the issue alone to China.

History states that China and Taiwan are the same thing, that Taiwan has always been a part of China and always will. Let the reunification happen. It'll make so many other problems disappear and will make China happy. Even if Taiwan is both a province of China and a Special Administrative Region like Hong Kong (part of China) and Macau (part of China).

Those people need to accept that they're Chinese. They have to be proud that they are, and not ashamed, hiding the facts by concealing it in a statement of being "Taiwanese."
TAIWAN never belonged to any country except to its own people, the TAIWANESE. Chinese history deceived their own people and the rest of the world.
September 30, 2009    phou_sh@
Reunification will never happen because Taiwan wants to be independent and the US is the only one who profits from all this. China is becoming a global power and would ultimately invest more in defense and because the US aren't happy about being challenged so they are using Taiwan Strait tension as an excuse to try to keep China in check and sell their technology to Taiwan.

The US has a monopoly on world issues doesn't even abide to the UN Security Council (remember the invasion of Iraq when there was a veto, the UN voted against a military intervention but the US ignored this and did what they wanted anyway). Since the decline of the end of the 'cold war' era, there has only been one superpower, the US.

We need other world powers that are more responsible to keep some balance in the world, not just only that who acts with only its own interests in mind.
December 16, 2009    Markliu199537@
phou_sh@ wrote:
Reunification will never happen because Taiwan wants to be independent and the US is the only one who profits from all this. China is becoming a global power and would ultimately invest more in defense and because the US aren't happy about being challenged so they are using Taiwan Strait tension as an excuse to try to keep China in check and sell their technology to Taiwan.

The US has a monopoly on world issues doesn't even abide to the UN Security Council (remember the invasion of Iraq when there was a veto, the UN voted against a military intervention but the US ignored this and did what they wanted anyway). Since the decline of the end of the 'cold war' era, there has only been one superpower, the US.

We need other world powers that are more responsible to keep some balance in the world, not just only that who acts with only its own interests in mind.
how would you know that they are deceiving everyone? Taiwan belongs to china and that's that.
February 18, 2010    hoangvut@
Taiwan is a bug between US & China. But Taiwanese have tried to ignore where they came from.
February 19, 2010    ludahai_twn@
 
waterdevil@ wrote:
During the dynasties of china, if you, mrey have looked into, Taiwain belongs to China.
The only dynasty during which Taiwan and China were together was when BOTH were conquered by the Manchus -- and even then, most of Taiwan remained out of their control until late in the 19th century.
February 20, 2010    carltanong@
@ludahai_twn
..... The Japanese invaded the Mainland and Taiwan, which was completely occupied by the Japanese fanatics. After Japan was defeated by the brave Chinese from the Mainland, Taiwan and the Overseas Chinese in WW2, Japan returned our lost lands. Even other Asian countries were liberated from the BUTCHERS. The butchers (JAPAN) were finally TAMED. Will the BUTCHERS rise and go WILD again?
February 20, 2010    leiduowen@
Just a quick sentence on this Taiwan-has-always-belonged-to-China tune. Technically speaking, the people who Taiwan de jure belongs to are its aborigines (yuanzhu min). They are the earliest people known to inhabit the most of its territory. That they weren't able to protect their land against invaders (the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Chinese, the Japanese etc.) is another fact that proved crucial to their eventual subjugation by the Chinese population. This is just a repetition of a similar case that happened during the white man conquest of North America. The result was that the U.S. are by no means a confederation of native Indian states but of WASP states -- which proves again that history is written by those who are in power. Now, in case of Taiwan, the aborigines are a marginalized group of people without any real influence on what's going on in their native land. The reality is a power fight between the "native" Taiwanese - actually, for the most part mixed-blood descendants of the Chinese immigrants from before 1949 and the aborigines - who resist any sort of integration with the mainland, and the ruling group of people, the descendants of the Chinese who came around 1949 and are mostly wont on some sort of unification with China.
March 7, 2010    justintopple@
keep it real Taiwan, keep it real
September 15, 2010    R1A1A2@
Taiwan's history has nothing to do with this commotion. The mainland will never let Taiwan become an immovable aircraft carrier for the benefit of anti-man one-world corporatism/fascism, and, if push comes to shove, they will turn Taiwan into an ash heap even at the cost of seeing the devastation of their own coast line. The fuss is about the immediate security of China.
September 16, 2010    hysteriamatik@
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY MORONS IN LIFE.....TAIWAN ARE CHINESE PEOPLE!!!

IF TAIWAN IS NOT PART OF CHINA THEN HAWAII IS NOT PART OF AMERICA!
April 26, 2011    boburns@
hysteriamatik@ wrote:
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY MORONS IN LIFE.....TAIWAN ARE CHINESE PEOPLE!!!

IF TAIWAN IS NOT PART OF CHINA THEN HAWAII IS NOT PART OF AMERICA!
You may have hit on something. Ask a native (Polynesian) Hawaiian if he feels like an American. Truth is the USA stole Hawaii from the natives. Just as the Han Chinese stole Taiwan from the Taiwanese.
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U.S. official warns of China, Taiwan conflict
Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., Thursday, Feb. 12, before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP)

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