Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

US aims to make Taiwan a ‘normal’ military sales ally

BE PREPARED:The US assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs said that Taiwan should invest more in its defense

Staff writer, with CNA, Washington

The US is committed to making Taiwan a “normal” foreign military sales (FMS) partner, a US official said on Wednesday.

“We’re going to treat Taiwan as a normal security systems partner,” US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver said during a discussion held by the Heritage Foundation on the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

He was responding to a question about reports that a proposed US$2 billion arms sales package to Taiwan has been put on hold for fear of angering Beijing ahead of a planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

The US is working very closely with Taiwan as a security partner under the Taiwan Relations Act and is making sure that the nation can defend itself, Schriver said.

Washington would make defense systems available to Taiwan based on its threat assessment, he said.

“I don’t have any specific timing of announcements or releases. We have talked about a more normal process, making Taiwan a normal FMS partner for military sales orders, and we’re committed to that,” he said.

Taiwan should invest more in its own defense to deter China from resorting to military means to solve the dispute over the nation’s status, Schriver said.

Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and Mongolia are “natural partners” of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships and Promoting a Networked Region released by the US Department of Defense on June 1.

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