Subtle Trade-Off on Strategy

Arms sales to Taiwan and a mission to Peking

The confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over Poland has potential global consequences. Indeed the crisis has provided a subtle opening to settle one of the prickliest problems the U.S. faces in its complex dealings with China—the sale of arms to Taiwan.

President Reagan looked favorably on Taiwan's request last spring to buy a new generation of advanced American fighter jets, despite warnings from the State Department that such a sale would threaten the delicate normalization of relations with China. As a result of the Polish crisis, however, the U.S. is...

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