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China Lobbies Washington for Arms

But not for Taiwan.

12:29 PM, Jun 1, 2011 • By JOSEPH A. BOSCO
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Except for a few tangential areas where China's own commercial interests are directly affected, such as anti-piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden, U.S. hopes that China would be at least a "responsible international stakeholder" if not a "strategic partner" have not been realized.

On North Korea's nuclear program, counter-terrorism, and non-proliferation, China's role has not been helpful and is often adversarial to U.S. and Western interests. It has refused to join over a hundred other countries that participate in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative.

American officials continue to ignore or dilute the congressional constraints on military cooperation with China while Beijing persists in exploiting U.S. engagement anxiety by pressuring Washington to stop selling arms to Taiwan and resume selling them to China.

The Obama administration should do a better job than its predecessors did, and that it has done so far, in honoring U.S. law governing military relations with both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Joseph A. Bosco served in the office of the secretary of defense as China country desk officer from 2005 to 2006 and previously taught graduate seminars on China-U.S. relations at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is now a national security consultant.

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