Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The video format of the column brings in dialogues with experts from across the world to offer a nuanced take on contemporary issues and events of global relevance.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration plans to send $500 million worth of weapons to China's Taiwan region, using a fast-track authority that has been used more than 35 times for Ukraine. CGTN's First Voice, collaborating with Special Commentator Danny Haiphong, does an interview with Brian Berletic, a former U.S. marine and geopolitical analyst based in Bangkok, Thailand. The views expressed in the video are his own and not necessarily those of CGTN. He is the host of the New Atlas.
Danny Haiphong: So, that's what is happening: More arms to Taiwan, supposedly, because I know a lot of these arms get backlogged.
Brian Berletic: This is the United States trying to consolidate its position ahead of this planned conflict that they want to provoke with China. We've talked about many times, regarding the window of opportunity that the United States believes that it has between 2025 and 2027, when they can wage some sort of military conflict with China and have some sort of successful outcome. Even though when you read what these war planners are saying about the outcome, it really doesn't look like a victory. I guess it's better than, in their minds, just allowing China to irreversibly surpass them. They think at least this way we have a shot at, perhaps, knocking China down a peg.
What's disturbing about the Presidential draw down authority used for Ukraine which is taking weapons out of the existing U.S. stockpiles is that they are doing this for the Taiwan region. So, they are getting ahead of the curve, so to speak. They have said in their policy papers we cannot afford any sort of delay once some sort of conflict is provoked. We have to get involved directly and immediately.
Danny Haiphong: Then of course there has been a flurry of other developments. There's a visit to South Korea. South Korea's President coming out on the Taiwan question pretty firmly on the side of the United States. What do you think the significance of this is, given all that's going on for NATO and the collective West?
Brian Berletic: You mentioned South Korea, and I would like to throw in the Philippines as well. I saw the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Washington at the CSIS event recently. And maybe he is saying one thing because he is in Washington and if he were in Beijing he would be saying slightly more balanced. (In Washington he said) we need the United States to uphold international law, the United States is part of our future. China is offering trade and investment and infrastructure when the Secretary of Foreign Affairs was talking to the U.S., and it was entirely military, and it is military relationship went antagonized the Philippines' largest economic partner, which makes absolutely no sense.
It's more or less what is happening with South Korea and to a certain extent Japan. The whole point of having intercontinental ballistic missiles so they're only there to provoke DPRK, to create a pretext to keep or even expand the U.S. military presence there, which ultimately is there to contain China. This is how the U.S. has elected to continue its relationship with the Asian region, and essentially it is an occupying military force coercing governments to act against their own best interests.
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