World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Arms Sales To Taiwan Key To China-US Relations

By Daniel Schearf

Carter Says China's Acceptance of Weapons Sales to Taiwan Key to Establishing China-US Relations

Former United States President Jimmy Carter has for the first time revealed passages from his private diary on the negotiations that established relations with China. Mr. Carter said China's acceptance of Washington's continued defensive weapons sales to Taiwan was key to the U.S. dropping of diplomatic relations with Taipei in favor of Beijing.

During a ceremony Thursday in Beijing marking 28 years of U.S.-China relations former President Carter gave details about his two years of negotiations with Chinese officials to normalize relations in 1979.

Mr. Carter said the U.S. was determined to maintain economic relations with Taiwan and also to provide defensive weapons to the self-ruled island, which China claims as its own.

He said the U.S. agreement to drop diplomatic recognition of Taiwan for China was conditional on Beijing's acceptance that the U.S. would continue to offer defense to its long-time ally in Taipei.

"We finally reached the agreement that the United States would make public our statement, which many Chinese still don't like, that we have an obligation to help preserve the safety of the Chinese who live on Taiwan and that we would provide them with defensive weapons only, a pledge I honored, but that we knew that the Chinese would not agree with this publicly but that they would accept it privately," Mr. Carter recalled.

Beijing continues to scold Washington for its occasional weapons sales to Taiwan.

China's Foreign Ministry recently hinted the weapons sales might be one reason for Beijing's refusal to allow a scheduled Thanksgiving visit to Hong Kong by a U.S. aircraft carrier group. The last-minute cancellation upset thousands of sailors and their family members who had flown into Hong Kong for the holiday, and sent a chill over U.S.-China military relations.

The U.S. and China formally established relations on January 1, 1979. But, Mr. Carter said at the time he faced considerable opposition to the plan in the U.S. by critics who said the move would damage American credibility.

"Many people never forgave me for betraying our friends in Taiwan and returning to what President Reagan always said was 'Red China on the mainland,'" Mr. Carter said. "You have to remember that in those days Communism was the same epithet that Terrorism is now in the United States."

But Mr. Carter said he established relations with China because he foresaw China's development potential.

Mr. Carter was the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>