The Obama administration is backing away from a 2001 commitment to help Taiwan acquire submarines to defend the island from Chinese attack.
The Pentagon, in particular, is said to oppose the 13-year-old plan to help Taipei buy or build eight diesel electric subs over concerns of disrupting its high-priority military exchange program with China.
The Chinese military cut ties to the Pentagon several times in recent years to protest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and agreed to resume exchanges only if the administration adopted China’s concept of “new-type” relations that, for Beijing, includes gradually ending arms sales to Taiwan.
The administration, however, is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to provide defensive arms to Taiwan to prevent a Chinese takeover. Continue reading