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“The US has to workwithother countries, including China, inareas likecounterterrorism, non-proliferation, anti-money launderingandinfectious diseasecontrol,” he said. “It can’t expect China to cooperatewhenever it makes a demand whileit is hurting China’s interests.”This year’sarms deal is relatively smallcompared with previous years and it involves maintenance and spare parts, which will not make much difference to the power balance across the strait, saidPang Zhongying, a foreign affairs expert at the Ocean University of China. Buthe said it was the timingof the announcement that hadinfuriated Beijing, coming so soon afterthe sanctionswere imposed. This will be the second US arms deal to Taiwan under the administration of US President Donald Trump after it agreed to sell a US$1.4 billion weapons package, mainly missiles, to the island last year. Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping saidthere was likely to be a much biggerandmore sensitivedealannounced next year– possibly includingthe powerful M1A2 tanksthat Taiwanhas asked for– afterthe US Congress passed theNational Defence Authorisation Act, pledging to sell more weapons to the island. “US arms salesto Taiwan are a long-term matter. The smaller deal this year means they could be building up to challenge Beijing with something biggerin the future,” Song said. But, the plan deescalates tensions and builds strategic trustKenneth Lieberthal 12, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and in Global Economy and Development and isDirector of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, March 2012, “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,” No. 4, March, -content/uploads/2016/06/0330_china_lieberthal.pdf) Reducing distrustover Taiwan: Both sides want to work toward a peaceful resolution of existing differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan are viewedin Washington and Taipei as
a necessary ingredient for sustaining the confidence of U.S. support in Taipei necessary for Taipei to continue to develop wide ranging cross-Strait relations. Those same sales in Beijingare viewed as confirming Americanarroganceand determination to interfere in China’s domestic affairsand to prevent peaceful unificationfrom occurring, thereby harming aclearly-articulated Chinese core interest. Washington and Beijing should engage in serious discussionof the overall security situation surrounding the Taiwan Strait. Lack ofsuch discussion has contributed tohaving each side make worst case assumptions in their acquisition and deployment of military resources,enhancing mutual distrustandultimately potentially reducing the chances of maintaining the peacein the Taiwan Straitthat both sides desire.