Wednesday, August 24, 2011

RoC Vipers

I guess this my pet whipping boy, the perils of US passiveness in regards to the nations surrounding the South China Sea. The straws are in the wind and Obama keeps golfing. East wind rain is the phrase I hear as Beijing keeps eyeing it's Southern Resource Area.

Chinese ships again briefly invaded Japanese territorial waters in an area claimed by Japan, PRC, and Taiwan. Need I mention the area has possibly a large reserve of natural gas? And this is the 12th such incident since last year when a Chinese trawler collided with Japanese patrol boats. The Chinese claim they were in Chinese waters while the Japanese say the PRC is invading their waters. With all the billions the US has given to the PRC, one would think the PRC could equip its patrol ships with GPS so they don't get lost. But that is not the point, the PRC seeks to impose its will over this area.

Meanwhile Vice President Biden toured three Asian countries - Peoples Republic of China, Japan, and Mongolia. Strangely during his ten day junket there was no time to visit the Republic of China - Taiwan. Even though one area under discussion in Beijing was Taiwan's request for 66 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon fighters that the Obama administration has denied. Instead the US will upgrade the surviving F-16 A/B Block 20 MLU aircraft which were delivered between 1997 and 2001 with an AESA radar and other upgrades. Sounds good at first glance, a new radar in planes that already have some Block 50 upgrades. Then we get to looking for the reason why Taiwan wants only 66 F-16C/Ds, the country needs to replace their 60 Northrop F-5 fighters and 60 Mirage 2000-5s. So by denying this sale, the Obama administration will cause a reduction in Taiwan's total air force. Plans are underway for Taiwan's locally built fighter to get upgrades. I find it sad when a quote such as "Beijing's Kung Fu is better than Washington's" has the harsh ring of truth to it. As a result Washington's alliance with Taiwan becomes more fragile which can have far reaching consequences.

There is also a local angle to this denial of new aircraft to Taiwan. Namely the loss of revenue and jobs caused by cancelling this order. From the linked Defense News account it could have far reaching consequences. Termination of the F-16 production line is possible. The collapse of this deal will mean the loss of $768 million in tax revenues and 16,000 jobs won't be created in such states as California, Florida, and Connecticut. I would think the President would want all that revenue and jobs since he has promised a new jobs plan. Right now it appears he does not, the PRC and its 8% stake in US debt is stronger. Some say the deal may still be approved, but with the lead times that are needed to build airplanes, if Obama approves this deal next March it won't matter in time for November. Which would be par for the course for Obama, too little too late to change anything.

I have a sinking feeling that the brawl that erupted between the Hoyas and PRC PLAN basketball team during what was supposed to be goodwill games is merely harbinger of things to come. All because the Obama foreign policy is to appease those who mean this country harm while stiffing those countries that have been friendly.

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