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Obama Commends Taiwan Arms Sale

Updated 4:30 p.m.
By Glenn Kessler
Sen. Barack Obama today welcomed the Bush administration's decision to sell $6 billion of military equipment to Taiwan, but unlike his presidential campaign rival, Sen. John McCain, he did not call for the administration to also add submarines and F-16 aircraft.

"Senator Obama welcomes the Bush Administration's decision to notify Congress concerning the package of weapons systems for Taiwan. This package represents an important response to Taiwan's defense needs. This action is fully consistent with U.S. obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act. The sale helps to contribute to Taiwan's defense and the maintenance of a healthy balance in the Taiwan Strait," said Wendy Morigi, national security spokesperson for Obama, in a statement.

"Senator Obama strongly supports the reduction of tensions between China and Taiwan, and commends China's President Hu Jintao and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou for their efforts in that regard. A strengthening of Taiwan's defenses will not undermine the process of reduction of tensions and can actually promote it," she added.

On Tuesday, the GOP presidential nominee said the White House did not go far enough when it said it would sell 330 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and 30 Apache Block III Longbow Attack helicopters.

"The package will not include submarines or new F-16 aircraft. I urge the administration to reconsider this decision, in light of its previous commitment to provide submarines and America's previous sales of F-16s," McCain said.

The Obama campaign declined to comment on whether he supported or opposed adding the submarines and F-16 aircraft to the package, saying the statement stood by itself even though it did not address those issues. The submarines were originally included in the arms package that President Bush proposed in 2001.

The White House announcement so angered China that it canceled senior-level visits to the United States. "Senator Obama regrets that China has responded by suspending military-to-military exchanges with the U.S. and nonproliferation talks," Morigi said. "These discussions are in the interest of both sides, and should be resumed."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 8, 2008; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Next: McCain Adviser Offers Details on Mortgage Plan


Ma moves towards to China, the more Taiwaneses want to have an independent Taiwan. It is proved through recent polls. In fact, Mr. Ma broke his campaign promises and is agressively moving Taiwan towards China. His decisions have not been proved by the Legistlation Yuan (Congress). Taiwaneses welcome the arms sale. Taiwaneses appreciate Americans support to at least maintaining the status quo.
In terms of the Taiwan issue, I will support McCain more than Obama.

Posted by: mongmei | October 9, 2008 2:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Senator Obama, we should help Taiwan with their defends supplies, however, we also have to courage the effort to try to maintain a good relation between Taiwan and Mainland China.

I wonder, those GOPs really understand the meaning of 'WORLD PEACE' and 'TRUE DIPLOMACY'

Posted by: novitajulien | October 8, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

No one wins a debate without a judge. People that like McCain thought he one and people that like Obama thought he one.

They both made mistakes and had cringe moments. The only item of interest was McCain's "new" mortgage proposal. I thought McCain's the plan was either horrible, irrelevant, or both.

Posted by: zosima | October 8, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Gallup Daily: Obama’s Lead Over McCain Expands to 11
52% share of the vote is Obama’s highest to date"

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain’s national security adviser slash lobbyist Randy Scheunemann lobbies both for Taiwan and also for the makers of the F-16. Read:

Posted by: ChrisL1 | October 8, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain is the one who is supposed to be McBush,McSame. McCain should have dumped the bailout as a failed piece of legislation and condemned the Bush team for creating much of this mess. He needs to take the Bush card away from Obama. But now it seems Obama is more instep with Bush than McCain. Brilliant on Obama's part!

I do not know what these poll numbers mean anymore.

Posted by: acarponzo | October 8, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse


When even the Fox poll disagrees with you it will be hard to back your claim, good luck with that.

"Question of the Day
Who won the second presidential debate in Nashville?

John McCain 39%

Barack Obama 61%

Total Voters:157868"

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 8, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

....channeling Bob Dole.......


Posted by: toritto | October 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

See Out Takes From Last Nights Debate, Obama and McCain practicing for the debate and the mistakes they made.

Watch a video of McCain dropping the F-Bomb
in a video

I just saw a new poll come out....Dream tickets for the president. Huckabee/Palin comes out 5 to 1 over McCain/Palin. Perhaps the RNC should switch out McCain for Huckabee, they might have a better chance at the white house this year cause I just can't see Obama loosing at this point. The problem is news stations are already calling the race for Obama.....switch it up and have a chance, or should we all stay home and just let Obama take the white house? see poll at

Posted by: pastor123 | October 8, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain clearly won last night's debate.

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008.

Posted by: hclark1 | October 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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