Stimson in the News

Alan Romberg Quoted In VICE News On US Arms Sales To Taiwan

in Program

Last week, the White House officially notified Congress of a wide-ranging arms deal with Taiwan, worth $1.83 billion. China reacted by summoning a US envoy over the matter andthreatening sanctions on some of the American companies involved, saying Beijing “resolutely opposes” any arms sale to the island they consider an integral piece of Chinese territory — albeit one in a state of insurrection for more than 60 years.

China is still not pleased about the sale. It “naturally objects, on principle, to any arms sales by anybody, and especially by the United States, to Taiwan, seeing that as interference in China’s internal affairs,” said Alan Romberg, director of the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center. The response is likely to be a matter of rhetoric, and there is little China can realistically do to challenge Washington’s choices in the matter. Even though this is a low point in US-China relations, particularly given US challenges to China’s island-building expansionism in the South China Sea, the deal seems unlikely to be of lasting consequence to the relationship.
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