March 2, 2007: Renewed international efforts to ban cluster bombs was
welcomed by Chinese arms manufacturers. When landmines were banned by
international treaty, a document China did not sign, China instantly got a much
larger share of the landmine market. They expect the same thing to happen
if the cluster bomb treaty is signed.
March 1, 2007: Taiwan asked the U.S. to sell it 218 AMRAAM long range
air-to-air missiles, and 235 Maverick air-to-ground missiles. These missiles
would be added to AMRAAM and Maverick stockpiles Taiwan already has. These
missiles give Taiwan an edge in any air war with China, and the ability to
quickly destroy ground targets on the Chinese coast.
February 26, 2007: China does not yet have an edge, and good chance of
success, in attacking and conquering Taiwan. But the Chinese plan for the long
term (and make no secret of this in published statements). In another ten
years, Taiwan will be much more vulnerable, even if China and Taiwan engage in
an arms race.
February 18, 2007: It took more than a month to repair the under water
communications cables that were damaged by a December 26th earthquake south of
Taiwan. When the cables went out of service, East Asia found its Internet
access to the rest of the world greatly diminished. This was a live example of
what might happen in wartime, and now everyone knows how long it would take to
repair the damage. But the experience of doing these repairs has indicated measures
that could be taken to get the repairs down more quickly in the future. In
wartime, China would be tempted to cut these cables, as Taiwan is more
dependent on the Internet, although that is changing.