Few Americans realize the extent to which George Bush has damaged the nation’s reputation throughout the world and the problems that are left for Barack Obama to resolve. A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Defense urged Obama to restore positive bilateral military relations between the two nations that have been derailed by Bush policies toward Taiwan. “Only when both countries respect each other’s core interests can we consolidate the politic al base of our military relations.” China suspended high level military contact after Bush proceeded to sell arms to Taiwan. The Ministry of Defense made clear American sales of arms to Taiwan only made more difficult the possibility of close military relations between the two nations.
The issue is not whether or not China will invade and conquer Taiwan since there is scant evidence of that possibility in the near future. Taiwan is secure and the immediate need is securing Chinese cooperation in many areas of the world ranging from Pakistan to Afghanistan and the Middle East. China wants Obama to focus on the need for close cooperation between the military forces of the United States and China by ending arms sales to Taiwan and focusing on what must be done to confront world problems. It is time to move away from the confrontational stance of Bush toward one in which both sides display mutual respect.