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Sunday, January 31, 2010
News Analysis - U.S. Starts to Push Back Against China in Growing Rift - NYTimes.com
"WASHINGTON — For the past year, China has struck an increasingly muscular position with the United States, berating American officials for the global economic crisis, stage-managing President Obama's visit to China last November, refusing to back a tougher climate change agreement in Copenhagen and standing fast against American demands for tough new Security Council sanctions against Iran. Now, the Obama administration has started to push back. In announcing an arms sales package to Taiwan worth $6 billion on Friday, the United States leveled a direct strike at the heart of the most sensitive diplomatic issue that has existed between the two countries since America affirmed the one-China policy in 1972. The arms package was doubly infuriating to Beijing, coming so soon after President Bush announced a similar arms package to Taiwan in 2008, and right as Beijing and Taipei are in the middle of a détente of sorts in their own relations. China’s immediate, and outraged, reaction—canceling some military-to-military exchanges and announcing punitive sanctions against American companies — demonstrates, China experts said, that Beijing is feeling a little burned, particularly because the Taiwan arms announcement came on the same day that Secretary of StateHillary Rodham Clinton publicly berated China for not taking a stronger position on holding Iran accountable for its nuclear program."