The deep blue camp wants to restrict funds to the MND, claiming that China’s ongoing military build-up is nothing to worry about and that the money should be spent elsewhere. Chinese leaders must be watching these developments with positive glee. Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland [sic] coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security and by extension to the national security of the US and Japan. President Barack Obama’s decision “rhetorically and substantially” to omit Taiwan from his pivot to Asia had telegraphed to China that Taiwan was no longer central to US policy. By doing so, the US is inviting Chinese adventurism. The US can recalibrate its Taiwan policy by restarting arms sales to Taiwan that have been stalled for two years. The first step should be new F-16C/D fighters, followed by assistance with the procurement of submarines.
US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers in an article to the Wall-Street Journal.
All of the above are plausible claims. It’s a pity that analysts on the Beltway and in international media didn’t see this coming in 2008 or 2012 when they framed their analysis of Taiwanese elections in favour of Ma as a vote for cross-strait stability and easing of tensions. The long US retreat from Taiwan has not left a sealed vacuum - that space will be filled, and right now it is CCP and KMT cadres who are doing so, protected by the ‘black box’ of party-to-party negotiations masked by, amongst other institutions, the MAC and SEF, TAO and ARATS. It is also worth bearing in mind that the long retreat has been going on, at different speeds, since 1971. It is under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations that drip drip concessions to Chinese ‘feelings’ and ‘core interests’ have turned into a relative deluge. It is uncertain how soon, if it has not already happened, Taiwan will meet a ‘tipping point’ at which it will be forced to choose either conflict or a permanent change to the status-quo that all but annexes it into the PRC.