Thu, Dec 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan still a top buyer of US arms

BIG SPENDER:Despite Taiwan’s unsuccessful efforts to buy F-16C/D planes, the only countries that bought more US arms last year were Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan

By William Lowther  /  Staff Writer in Washington

A new report from the US Congressional Research Service shows that despite a sale of F-16C/D aircraft being turned down this year, Taiwan remains one of the US’ four major arms buyers.

Last year — the most recent year for which figures are -available — Taiwan accepted delivery of US$660 million in arms from the US.

Only Saudi Arabia, with US$1.2 billion, Egypt, with US$830 million, and Pakistan, with US$690 million, bought more US arms during that year.

Taiwan was also fourth in terms of worldwide US arms -deliveries for the total period of 2007 through last year, when it received US$3 billion in arms, and for the period of 2003 through 2006, when it received US$4.1 billion.

Last year, Taiwan was also the leading purchaser of “US defense articles and services” in the world having concluded deals (but not -deliveries) valued at US$2.7 billion.

According to the new figures, for the period 2007 through last year, Taiwan concluded agreements to buy US$6.6 billion in arms, compared with Saudi Arabia at US$13.8 billion, the United Arab Emirates at US$10.4 billion and Egypt at US$7.8 billion.

Taiwan has been consistently at or near the top of the list of US arms customers in Asia for the past seven years.

It accepted delivery of US$4.1 billion in arms from 2003 to 2006 — more than twice as much as most other US allies in the region.

During that same period, South Korea received US$2.4 billion of US weapons, Japan US$2 billion, Australia US$1.3 billion and Singapore US$1.1 billion.

For the period 2007 through last year, Taiwan again topped the list with deliveries of US$3 billion, compared with Japan’s US$2.9 billion, Australia’s US$2.7 billion, South Korea’s US$2.7 billion and Pakistan’s US$1.4 billion.

Region-wide last year, Taiwan’s acceptance of US$660 million worth of arms from the US placed it second only to Pakistan, which had arms deliveries of US$690 million.

Other top Asian buyers for last year were South Korea, which received US$640 million of arms; Australia, at US$590 million; and Japan, at US$490 million.

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