The diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington over arms sales to Taiwan appeared to have been resolved when President Reagan announced in a communique on August 15 he would gradually phase out arms sales to the island in order to preserve ties with Communist China.
1. CHINA, 1982: GV Soldiers and sailors presenting arms. GV tanks on manoeuvres; Troops running with anti-tank guns. GV fighters overhead. Fighters firing missiles. Aircraft firing anti-tank missile. GV Battery of anti-aircraft missiles launched from ground. AERIAL VIEW Tanks being bombarded. GV Anti-tank missile fired and hitting target. GVs Tanks crossing bridge under fire. AERIAL VIEW Troops running. GV Troops firing at tanks. GV Tanks followed by troops. AT SEA GV Motor-torpedo boat launches torpedoes. GV Torpedoes hitting target. GV military band playing. Troops and sailors march past (52 shots) 1.28
2. BEIJING, CHINA 1972: GV: Presidential plane taxiing on runway. GV Nixon and wife greeted by Premier Chou. TV Great Wall, Official party on ramparts. (4 shots) 2.03
3. JUNE 1981: US Secretary of State Alexander Haig meeting Deng. GV Both men sit down. SCU Deng (3 shots) 2.29
4. WASHINGTON, USA. JULY 1982: GV President Reagan on dais. SV Reagan and Shultz shaking hands. GV Shultz taking oath PULL BACK TO GV (5 shots) 2.49
5. JORDAN, 1975. GVs & SVs F-5E rolling in air and dropping bombs (4 shots) 3.09
6. TAIWAN: RECENT: SVs Workers going to steel factory. SV INTERIOR steelworks. SV Production workers in garment factory. GV EXTERIOR Crowded streets. GV Buses in street. SV Crowds in street. SV Scooters. GV Traffic in streets (12 shots) 3.45
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Background: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
The diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington over arms sales to Taiwan appeared to have been resolved when President Reagan announced in a communique on August 15 he would gradually phase out arms sales to the island in order to preserve ties with Communist China. The issue had threatened the Sino-American relationship and could have been a step in forcing the Chinese to some reconciliation with the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: The controversy coincides with statements by China's military planners about the need to modernise the three-million strong People's Liberation Army (PLA). This film was shot on manoeuvres to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the revolutionary struggle. There are serious deficiencies in almost all sectors of China's defence forces. Military planners have stressed the need to modernise the Korean-war vintage kit but it is hard to see where they could start. There has been an exhaustive review of military strategy in the past year. While acknowledging the need to modernise equipment, planners have also urged an adherence to Maoist concepts. In part, this has been dictated by the huge cost of defence modernisation. It has been estimated it would cost between 300 billion and 400 billion dollars to bring Chinese defence equipment more or less up to date. But existing planes and ships can still be modernised with the latest missiles, electronic guidance and radar systems at a more-moderate cost. The apparent resolution of the Taiwan problem has increased speculation that China may be offered US weapons. Last year, the then Secretary of State, Alexander Haig offered China weapons in return for acceptance of US arms sales to Taiwan.
1972, and a decade of detente between China and the United States, was begun by President Nixon's official visit to China. The Presidential aircraft was set by Premier Chou En-Lai. From the start, the Taiwan issue has been a constant area of tension in the relations between the two countries. The United States had to maintain a difficult balance between maintaining its commitment to supply arms to Taiwan while at the same time keeping the crucial relationship with China on a steady course.
June 1961 and Alexander Haig set Chinese leaders on an official visit. He announced that the United States had lifted a ban on the sale of so-called "lethal" weapons to China. And in one of his last actions before resigning on June 25, Mr. Haig recommended that arms sales to Taiwan be limited and he expressed confidence to Beijing that the sales would decline.
His successor, George Shultz, seen here being sworn in by President Reagan, has reportedly caused alarm in Beijing. Whilst not criticising him directly, Chinese diplomats are said to be worried that Shultz would favour the Taiwan lobby more than Haig.
The F-5E jet fighter. The United States has an agreement with the Taipei regime to-assemble the plane. The recent communique on arms reduction significantly gave no date for the final arms shipments. This apparently gives Mr. Reagan the go-ahead to allow continued production of the F-5E and the supply of military spare parts to Taiwan's armed forces.
Taiwan was one of the great economic success stories of Asia. Exports of electronic components, television sets, plastics, clothing and cotton fabrics have long given it a massive trading surplus. Taiwan, reacted with bitterness to the communique. But experts have estimated that Communist China's army is about 20 years behind the Nationalist army in terms of equipment, giving the Taiwanese reasonable security -- for the 1980's at least.
Source: REUTERS LIBRARY