There is a report that President Obama is going to refuse to sell 66 F-16 warplanes to Taiwan to help that nation defend itself against Communist China (see first link below). This is an apt follow-up to my previous blog post about Taiwan and China.
Taiwan is a long-time, historic ally of the USA. If Obama refuses to help Taiwan defend itself against a rapidly militarizing China, it is Obama himself that might end up being the biggest loser. The second link and third link confirm that there is strong bipartisan support in Congress for the F-16 sale to Taiwan. Obama will not only be offending his own party in Congress if he refuses to authorize the sales of the 66 F-16s to Taiwan, he will also be “throwing under the bus” his allies in the labor unions. One report indicates that 16,000 US jobs will be created if the sale of the warplanes to China goes through. There will be a big hit to the US economy and the labor unions if Obama meekly submits to Communist China’s demands by not selling F-16s to Taiwan. At a time when Obama is talking about “job creation” in the USA, not authorizing the sale of the job-creating F-16s to Taiwan would very much negate and contradict Obama’s own stated need to create jobs in America. If Obama refuses to sell F-16s to Taiwan, he will be gift-wrapping a campaign issue to his eventual GOP opponent next year as this action would graphically show Obama is not committed to creating or preserving jobs in the USA.
A refusal by Obama to sell F-16s to Taiwan would also further erode the respect and trust of world leaders in Obama (if any remains at this time) as it would add Taiwan to the list of long-time allies such as the UK , Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia that Obama has offended or undercut. We may be reaching the point where other nations will conclude that as long as Obama is the US president, the USA cannot be regarded as a dependable or predictable ally. This would be a very dangerous position for the USA to be in: led by a president that cannot be trusted by US allies around the world. Also, selling F-16s to Taiwan actually provides deterrence against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Refusing to do so does not guarantee a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, but it surely makes it more likely as Taiwan will have less US weaponry and China will think that it can now attack Taiwan because the USA has a weak president.
Obama’s refusal to sell the F-16s to Taiwan could do long-term damage to the US economy as Taiwan’s need for additional weaponry is great, and if Obama won’t sell necessary weaponry to Taiwan, it will turn to other suppliers on the world market who will be happy to have the business. If Obama forces Taiwan to turn to other nations as its weapons suppliers, Taiwan may never give its weapons-procurement business back to the USA again.