Monday, October 06, 2008

Submarines Missing - U.S.Silence Means They Are Not Yet Considered Overdue

In April 2001, the Bush administration offered Taiwan an arms deal including eight diesel-electric submarines and 12 P-3C Orion anti-submarine aircraft.

But on this side of the Pacific, Navy officials have played a central role in actively stalling the deal. Their resistance to diesel submarine exports has been tacitly accepted by Pentagon and other administration officials, whose growing indifference has helped to lock the deal in neutral. source

Something very interesting (different from our public perception) could be going on regarding State strategy towards China.
The Chinese government and people firmly oppose this action, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao in a statement late yesterday. The arms sale interferes in China's internal affairs and endangers its security, Liu said. source
Perhaps China's currency will soon begin to imitate other countries in its degree of float.

Or, will the sale of diesel subs to Taiwan (and others) involve modern, AIP diesel subs using AIP and other components outsourced to Sweden, Germany the U.K. , or all of the above?

Or, are submarines not considered defensive weapons? 'For almost 30 years, the judicious sale of defensive weapons systems has been an essential element of United States support for a secure, stable and democratic Taiwan, as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,'' said Representative Ros-Lehtinen, of the House Foreign Relations committee.

The proposed submarines were considered defensive, there is no doubt: [T]he package was only about half of the originally proposed US$12 billion deal and did not include important defensive weapon systems that Taiwan had previously proposed, including diesel-electric submarines, which Washington had already approved, and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. ... [Neither did Washington] include advanced F-16 C/D Falcon jet fighters in the package, a decision that will make it difficult for Taiwan to maintain a balance in air defense in the Taiwan Strait in the face of the rapid modernization of the PRC air force, which is being equipped with fourth-generation Sukhoi-30 and Sukhoi-27 jet fighters far superior to Taiwan's current mix of F-16s, Mirage 2000Es and IDF indigenous defense fighters. source

If the submarines and F-16s were always just bargaining chips useful in showing goodwill toward China, what has the U.S. gotten from China in this exchange? Will China's currency have to float like other world currencies?

Curious timing is evident. An arms deal that had been stalled for 89 months, is re-proposed the weekend that the $700 billion bailout became law. Notification of the sale was posted on a Pentagon Web site Friday. Congress has 30 days from the announcement to comment on the sale, which will proceed if there are no objections.

Submarines are always silent and strange. Occasionally, they are also overdue. The story has not played out quite yet.



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