Donald Trump is unlike most presidents and he is not afraid to protect America's interests. His latest decision to sell 66 latest F-16 fighter planes to Taiwan, has touched a raw nerve as far as China is concerned. Beijing has criticized the deal and called it an interference in the internal affairs of China. The Guardian has reported that the $ 8 billion deal is cleared by the Trump administration and Congress is notified.

China incensed

China considers Taiwan as a part of the country and has frequently asked for its reunification with the motherland.

It had contemplated an invasion of Taiwan as well but has been held at bay by the American Military presence and the self- defence capability of the Taiwan armed forces. The sale of military planes to China is thus like a red rag to a bull and the Chinese government is incensed as it feels Taiwan may at some stage declare unilateral independence.

China and Taiwan

China has a long and tortuous history of relations with Taiwan. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, the Japanese forces surrendered en masse in China which they had occupied. There were a vacuum and two main political forces in the country, namely, the Communists led by Mao-Tse-Tung and the Nationalists led by General Chiang-Kai- Shek started a civil war to take control of the country.

The Nationalists were backed by the United States. The civil war lasted 3 years and by 1949, it was clear that the Nationalists were the losers. The communists seized the entire country and Chiang along with his supporters escaped to the island of Formosa. They set up their government there and for the last 70 years have been independent of China, with military support from the USA.

Donald Trump who had last week pointed out that India and Pakistan must do more in Afghanistan is the main driving force behind this deal.

One China

in 1973, the USA which had earlier recognized the Taiwan government as China changed track and recognized Red China as the de-facto government of China. In a pact negotiated by Henry Kissinger with the communist government, the Americans did a volte-face and recognized "one china" but got a clause inserted that they would have the right to supply defensive military equipment to has reported that this sale has incensed the Chinese and Col.

Cao Yanzhong a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science has said the sale of the planes will be "useless" in the face of the Chinese military.


Taiwan since 1949 has followed an independent policy and does not want reunification with China. This has incensed Beijing but it is helpless in the face of the American military dominance in the region. The supply of 66 F-16 fighters to Taiwan has thus hurt the communist government's sentiments, as these planes are force multipliers and will upset the balance of power in the area.

Taiwan has wanted to declare independence but is held back by the uncertainty of what China will do. The United States is also cautioning against such a declaration but it is on the cards that at some stage this could be a possibility.

Taiwan was given the older version of the F-16 in 1992. The manufacturer of the planes has said that the upgraded fighters will have a shelf life up to 2070.