Reasons behind the U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan – Realist and Domestic Politics Approaches

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Political Science


The arm sales to Taiwan are one of the most important issues which determine the U.S.-China relations. This project studies the reasons behind the U.S. decisions to sell arms to Taiwan. More specifically, this research uses Realism and Domestic Politics to examine the reasons behind the decision to sell arms to Taiwan. After examining two cases in 1982 and from 1990 to 1992, this research found out that neither Realism nor Domestic Politics can fully explain the reasons to sell arms to Taiwan; instead, the arms sales are influenced by Liberal thoughts which emphasize promoting democracy. The U.S. policy makers considered Taiwan as a model of democratic government in Asia and the domestic support from the U.S. was constrained by the Taiwanese government’s democratization.