U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan: Domestic Pressures on U.S.-China Relations

Issue & Policy Briefs February 5, 2010, No. 17

The United Sates Department of Defense announced on January 6 the approval for a new agreement to sell arms to Taiwan including missiles and submarines. In response, on January 30 China suspended military exchanges with the U.S. and subsequently threatened with unprecedented sanctions against American defense companies. The relations between the U.S. and China is rapidly increasing at a time when China and the U.S. need to share broad common interests over international issues. These issues, among others, climate change, the financial crisis and nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. Therefore, the worsening of their relationship, exacerbated by U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, could seriously damage their further partnerships as well as peace and stability, both regionally and globally.

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