For the sake of our survival it must stop.

by John V. Walsh, LA Progressive

The Island of Taiwan has been turned into a “powder keg” by the infusion of U.S. weaponry, pushing the Taiwanese people into the “abyss of disaster.” These are the words of the Chinese Defense Ministry in reaction to the recent $440 million sale of U.S. arms to the island. And now the also giving, not selling, arms to Taiwan, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer

The “First Island Chain” Strategy of the U.S.

Taiwan is but one in a series of islands along the Chinese coast, often called “The First Island Chain,” which now bristles with advanced U.S. weapons. These are accompanied by tens of thousands of supporting U.S. military personnel and combat troops. The “First Island Chain” extends from Japan in the north southward through Japan’s Ryukyu islands which include Okinawa, to Taiwan and on to the northern Philippines. (U.S. ally, South Korea, with a military of 500,000 active duty personnel and 3 million reserves is a powerful adjunct to this chain.) In US military doctrine the First Island Chain is a base to “project power” and restrict sea access to China.

China and Taiwan flags painted on a concrete wall with soldier shadow

Taiwan is at the center this string of islands and is considered the focal point of The First Island Chain strategy. When the fiercely hawkish Cold Warrior, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, conceived the strategy in 1951, he dubbed Taiwan America’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier.”

Taiwan is now one source of contention between the U.S. and China. As is often said but rarely done, the pursuit of peace demands that we understand the point of view of those who are marked as our adversaries. And, in China’s eyes, Taiwan and the rest of these armed isles look like both chain and noose.

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