Taiwan Arms Sale Signals Tougher Stance on China

Obama taking harder line after outreach fails
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 6:32 AM CST
Taiwan Arms Sale Signals Tougher Stance on China
Alaska Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters bank over Eagle River. The US is planning to sell US$6.4 billion in arms, including Black Hawk helicopters, to Taiwan.   (AP Photo/Mark Farmer, File)

The White House has sent Beijing a clear message that making nice isn't working, and it's time to push back against increasing Chinese belligerence. President Obama's decision to sell $6 billion in arms to Taiwan is likely to be only the first of several run-ins the administration has with China this year, Helene Cooper notes in the New York Times. He's also made plans to meet the Dalai Lama soon and pledged to double American exports.

New administrations tend to get off to a rough start with China, although Obama's toughness comes after early efforts to work with the Chinese left many in the administration feeling rebuffed. "They needed China on economic issues, climate change, Iran, North Korea," an analyst at the New America Foundation think tank says. "So they came in wanting to do this lovely dance with China, but that didn’t work.”
(More China stories.)

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