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2019-06-06 | 公共電視

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.

上週漢光演習國軍展現強大火力,根據路透社報導,美國準備銷售108輛M1A2戰車以及大批反戰車跟防空飛彈給台灣,價值總計約26.51億美元、大約新台幣830億,國防部回應,一切照相關軍售程序執行。

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。」

依照台美軍售流程,我方送交報價需求信函,美方審查後回復,國防部說,已經提交發價書需求信函,再來就得等美方知會國會,才會回復發價書,而這幾項軍售案中最受矚目的是,被稱為"地表最強戰車"的M1A2戰車,軍事專家說M1A2可強化我國戰車火力,但滿載重量可達70噸,是不是能適應台灣的地理環境、還有待觀察;這次軍購案多屬防衛性武器,對美中台三方影響不像F-16V或F-35戰機敏感,過關機會頗大,但這時候消息被披露,也可能是美國想藉此,在美中貿易戰中對中國施壓。

亞太防衛雜誌總編輯 鄭繼文表示:「對於美中台三方關係,其實衝擊相對比較有限,畢竟這些防禦性武器,事實上對於他們(中國)來講,其實相對也比較能夠容忍。」

前AIT理事主席 卜睿哲表示:「我認為美國努力與中國經濟脫鉤,這是美國其中一個目標,這也將迫使台灣公司做出選擇。」

卜睿哲強調美中貿易戰影響下,台商恐怕得被迫選邊站;至於國安會祕書長李大維上個月和美國國家安全顧問波頓會晤,創下台美斷交後首例,卜睿哲認為這代表美國對於中國在東亞地區企圖心的負面回應,反映出美台利益的一致,但不該解讀為"美國對蔡政府的支持";此外台灣大選,美國不會介入,卜睿哲也強調反對任何外力干預民主選舉過程。

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