The United States and China have resumed military-to-military relations and are going full speed ahead, but the reforged ties are delicate, the U.S. military’s top commander in the Pacific said Tuesday.
This spells trouble for Taiwan, which has been waiting for an answer from Barack Obama’s administration as to whether a pending arms deal will go through — the very deal that could scuttle the newly renewed U.S.-China military dialogue.
The People’s Republic of China cut off military-to-military relations with the United States following the 2008 sale of arms to Taiwan by the George W. Bush administration. Now there is a new weapons deal with Taiwan in the works, which Adm. Timothy J. Keating, who heads Pacific Command (Pacom), warns could result in China severing mil-to-mil ties again if it goes through.
“If the administration were to announce a new round of Taiwanese arms sales, I’m sure the Chinese would say ‘We have the right to consider turning off mil-to-mil relations,'” Keating said.