U.S. Pursuing Arms Sales to Taiwan|路透:美擬售台M1A2戰車 與反戰車.防空飛彈
News agency Reuters recently reported that the United States is preparing to sell M1A2 Abrams tanks as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions to Taiwan. In response, the Ministry of National Defense said relevant arms sales procedures will be followed, while military experts said this procurement case has a higher chance of going through because it focuses on defensive weapons.
Taiwan held its annual Han Kuang military exercises at the end of May. Recently, news agency Reuters reported that the United States is preparing to sell 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions to Taiwan. The total package is worth US$2.651 billion, or NT$83 billion. The Ministry of National Defense said relevant arms sales procedures will be followed.
Relevant arms sales procedures are being followed with regards to letters of requests, or LOR for LOA.
The procedure for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan is as follows. Taiwan sends a letter of request for price and availability information. The U.S. responds after it determines the price and availability. The ministry says it has already sent the LOR, and is currently awaiting for the U.S. to inform Congress before sending a price quote. The highlight of this package is expected to be the M1A2 Abrams tank, which is considered to be the strongest tank in the world. Military experts say the M1A2 can strengthen Taiwan's tank firepower. However, its weight when fully loaded is around 70 tons, and it is unknown whether it is suitable for Taiwan's terrain. As the package is composed of mainly defensive weapons, the issue is not as sensitive for U.S.-Taiwan-China relations as the sale of F-16V or F-35 fighter jets and there is also a higher chance that it will go through. Experts add that the timing of this report may indicate that the U.S. is using the arms deal to pressure China in the midst of their trade war.
The impact is relatively limited on the triangular U.S.-China-Taiwan relationship. After all, these are defensive weapons, so they are more acceptable for them (China).
I suspect that the U.S. effort to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economies, which is one goal, will force Taiwan companies to choose.
Former American Institute in Taiwan Chairman of the Board Richard Bush said that perhaps Taiwan businesspersons will have to choose sides in the U.S.-China trade war. In May, Taiwan's National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee met with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in the first meeting of the two sides' national security chiefs since formal diplomatic relations were severed. Bush said this represents the U.S.' negative response to China's ambitions in East Asia, and reflects the unanimity of U.S. and Taiwan interests. However, he warned that it should not be interpreted as "American support for Tsai Ing-wen's administration," and claimed the U.S. would not interfere in Taiwan's elections because he opposes any external force meddling in democratic elections.
國防部發言人 陳中吉表示：「有關於發價書需求信函，也是LOR for LOA，目前也都按相關軍售程序執行。」
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