U.S. decides on more weapons sales to Taiwan

Elias Hubbard
October 22, 2020

"We will not engage in an arms race with the Chinese Communists".

Though Taiwan is not recognised by the United Nations, its government maintains a relationship with the USA and does not accept the Chinese authority.

Taiwanese Defense Minister Yen De-fa said earlier in the day that Taipei will not seek an arms race with China, and only needs a defensive combat capability.

The US government said Wednesday it approved the sale of three weapons packages to Taiwan for a total of $1.8 billion, a move that could add further tension to souring US-China relations.

The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing, for an estimated $1.008bn, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of $367.2m.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Defense Ministry Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Chiu Shu-hua told the committee that the number of incursions by China's warplanes and military vessels in the vicinity of Taiwan has increased by 50 percent this year. Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, has since endeavored to bring the island into its fold.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately since they split during a civil war in 1949.

Democratic and self-ruled Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by authoritarian China, whose leaders view the island as part of their territory.

The modernization of its armed forces, which centers on the development of asymmetrical warfare, remains a priority for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

While Taiwan has for decades fallen back on an implicit USA security guarantee, Washington has urged it to strengthen its own capabilities to resist an attack.

Last week, the USA national security adviser, Mr Robert O'Brien, said that while China probably was not ready to invade Taiwan for now, the island needed to "fortify itself" against a future attack or any bid to isolate it through non-military means, such as an embargo.

The US administration has stepped up pressure on Beijing in the run-up to the November 3 US presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough stance against China a central theme of his campaign for a second term.

Last week, the USA national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, said that while China probably was not ready to invade Taiwan for now, the island needed to "fortify itself" against a future attack or any bid to isolate it through non-military means, such as an embargo.

Last week, the US national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, said that while China probably was not ready to invade Taiwan for now, the island needed to "fortify itself" against a future attack or any bid to isolate it through non-military means, such as an embargo.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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