The weapon sale went forward. It is noted that neither submarines nor fighter aircraft were included. Since that sale, Chinese relations with America have taken a significant turndown. Retaliatory measures for the sale include sanctions against American companies who produced or supplied the arms. Beijing has canceled military exchange programs. A planned visit to China by U.S. Defense Secretary Gates in June was canceled. The United States is charged with "gross interference" in China's internal affairs. Guan You Fei, deputy head of external relations with China's defense ministry stated that the biggest obstacle in defense relations between the U.S. and China is U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
This brings us to October of 2010. The sale of weapons, long completed, is still being discussed and Sino/Taiwanese relations have nose-dived. Secretary of Defense Gates met with his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guanglie, during an Asian Security Forum in Hanoi on Oct. 11, 2010, this, 10 months after the weapon sale. In the course of the meeting Secretary Gates stated his position that the sale was not a military decision. He blamed the disconcerting issue on the U.S. Congress; on political leaders. He disavowed any role of the American military in the decision. "If there is a discussion to be had, it is at the political level," Gates said. Did domestic political issues play a part in this important decision process?
Now, the situation has exacerbated, perhaps encouraged by the receipt of the America weaponry. A news story dated October 13, 2010, says Taiwan has begun development of a system of drone aircraft; Yu Sy-tue, spokesman for Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu, said the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology near Taipei, an institute run by the Taiwan military, has started research on drones aircraft. Reports surfaced that Taiwan is taking steps to acquire one or more Global Hawk high altitude drones, and a number of new fighter jets from the U.S.
As news of the Taiwanese interest in drone aircraft surfaced, China immediately suggested that military talks were in order. A news story from Beijing relates that China has called for these talks on military issues with Taiwan, based on the issue of the development of unmanned surveillance aircraft. Yang Yi of the Taiwan Affairs Office on mainland China issued a statement: "We advocate conducting contacts and exchanges on military issues, including the cross-straits military deployment issue, in a proper way at a proper time."