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Blackhawk down... to Chinatown

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Blackhawk down... to Chinatown

U.S. arms sales to Taiwan raise Chinese ire

On Friday, the U.S. announced it will sell $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan, including 60 Blackhawk helicopters, 2 minesweepers, and Patriot and Harpoon missiles.

In return, China announced sanctions against American companies.

China claims Taiwan as part of China. Taiwan, where the remnants of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist forces fled after the Communists won China's civil war in 1949, claims that it is still a part of the mainland nation as well - they just don't recognize the Beijing government.

The U.S. has conducted a balancing act between the two countries for decades, supplying Taiwan with military backing while discouraging them from declaring independence.

Mainland China, following Nixon's overtures, took the Chinese seat at the United Nations, and has become an increasingly important trading partner as the nominally Communist government has embraced free market principles.

U.S. trade with both nation is extensive. And sometimes that votes that really matter are those that are counted yuan by yuan.

Roberto De Vido is a communications consultant, writer, cartoonist and jack of many trades. The former chief of Tucson Sentinel’s East Asia Bureau, he now lives in California (make of that what you will).

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