More on U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

Taiwan Strait Sunset

Complementary to  my last post about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, today’s Taipei Times ran a feature describing the various weapons systems included in the approved package and a small section talking a little about what isn’t in the package but that Taipei would still like to get.  F-16s are included in this latter category.

Every time I see a list like this and compare it to what China’s modernized PLA is packing these days, I am always left wondering, why does Beijing get so worked up about these arms sales?  The meager amounts of weapons and systems included in this list, while an improvement over Taiwan’s current capabilities, still would amount to little more than a relatively small speedbump.  Of course, Taipei’s bet (hope?) is that this “speedbump” would buy them the time necessary in a conflict with China to allow U.S. military forces to intervene.  Further, one would think that by this point, in 2010, China would no longer be surprised when the U.S. chooses to act according to its obligation under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, part of which stipulates that the U.S. will provide Taiwan defensive arms.  In the face of the rapidly modernizing PLA just across the Taiwan Strait, it would be hard to characterize this arms package as anything but defensive in nature.

The Taipei Times link is a PDF document.

The ins and outs of the latest US arms package to Taiwan

In late January, the US Department of Defense’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the approval of a major arms package to Taiwan. Included in the US$6.4 billion deal were PAC-3 missile defense systems and associated equipment, UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters, Osprey-class mine-hunting ships, work on command-and-control systems, and Harpoon training missiles. Also in the pipeline are PC-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

While Beijing has reacted with anger at news of the sale, threatening economic sanctions against the US defense companies involved, the Taipei Times takes a closer look at each item and its capabilities. To cap things off, we look at what’s missing — and desirable.

This feature, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

via The Far-Eastern Sweet Potato: The ins and outs of the latest US arms package to Taiwan.

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3 Responses to “More on U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan”

  1. USTDC Says:

    Just my opinion, but I think the game goes something like this: Every time the US does anything for Taiwan, the People’s Republic pretends to be outraged while we pretend to care what they think.

  2. Military Power of the PRC in 2010 « Facing China Says:

    […] the U.S. doesn’t want to tick off the Chinese any more while they are still simmering about Taiwan weapons sales and President Obama’s decision to allow a visit with the Dalai Lama at the White House in […]

  3. Taiwan’s Nuclear Ambitions « Facing China Says:

    […] Yes, the writing was on the wall, was it not?  With the beginning of normalization of ties between the U.S. and the PRC in the early 1970s ultimately resulting in American official “de-recognition” of Taipei before the end of the decade in favor of official recognition for Beijing, it had to have been a very uncertain time for Taiwan when this report was written.  Fortunately, through the vagaries of 1979’s Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. was able to continue to provide Taiwan defensive weapons to help keep back the Communist hordes, the most recent iteration of arms sales under these auspices I discussed here and here. […]

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