The US has reiterated its commitment to make arms sales to Taiwan in response to comments by China’s ambassador to the US that the “reunification” of Taiwan with China is “unstoppable.”
In an interview with the China Global Television Network on Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) said “nobody can stop China’s reunification,” and that China would achieve “reunification” through whatever means necessary.
To this end, China is “firmly against anymore arms sales from the United States to Taiwan,” and is monitoring the relationship between Taiwan and the US very carefully, he said.
A US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail to reporters that the US would continue to assess Taiwan’s defense needs and sell weapons to the country accordingly, as stipulated by the Taiwan Relations Act that governs the bilateral relationship.
The past seven US administrations have maintained arms sales to Taiwan, and the US would continue to do so to aid Taiwan’s security, and to protect peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the spokesperson said.
At a forum at George Washington University on Thursday, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a Virginia-based think tank, said that Washington should go further.
“As the US continues to sell weapons to Taiwan to boost its defense capabilities, restrictions on offensive weapons are no longer appropriate,” Richard Fisher said.
In view of the escalating threat that China’s People’s Liberation Army poses to Taiwan, the US policy of selling only defensive weapons to Taiwan is unacceptable, he said.
To strengthen its security, the US needs to assess and help upgrade both Taiwan’s offensive and defensive capabilities, he said.
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