Saturday, July 13, 2019

F-16V is the weapon system that Taiwan REALLY wants...should Chinese "kvetching" play a role in the decision?

via Breaking Defense.
The 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger ground-to-air missiles the Trump Administration has approved for sale to Taiwan are purely defensive acquisitions, but Taiwan, ever worried about Chinese desires to bring it back into the fold, has long had its hopes pinned on a more politically fraught deal with Washington: dozens of 4th generation F-16V fighters the Trump administration continues to debate whether to make a deal for.

Shuang added that the proposed deal is a deliberate “crude interference” in Chinese internal affairs that takes aim at Chinese sovereignty. “China urges the US to immediately cancel the planned arms sale and stop military relations with Taipei to avoid damaging Sino-US relations and harming peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

The latest proposed arms transfer between the US and Taiwan, which still needs to be approved by Congress, includes 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and related equipment, all for a price of $2.2 billion.

Monday’s announcement comes amid ongoing discussions between Washington and Beijing over the trade war the two are waging and just days before Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, prepares for a trip to North America, which has also angered the Chinese government.

But a much bigger deal looms on the horizon.


“Beijing will kvetch about anything,” Harold added, “but would probably complain more about F-16Vs primarily because these would be a politically embarrassing sale for Beijing.”

The Stinger sale, however, might be an indication that Taiwan is truly adopting a more asymmetric approach to self-defense, as the shoulder-launched weapon is easily moved and allows soldiers to fire and flee quickly.
Story here. 

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