US Pressures Taiwan to Buy More 'American-Made Weapons,' Citing Russian Spec Op in Ukraine — NYT

© AP Photo / Chiang Ying-yingPilots stand in front of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter before the commissioning ceremony in Taoyuan city, northern Taiwan, Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Pilots stand in front of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter before the commissioning ceremony in Taoyuan city, northern Taiwan, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.05.2022
The US is reportedly using Russian military operations in Ukraine as the impetus to push more weapons sales in Taipei, but The New York Times says the US worries some of the hardware the island is eyeing isn’t “suited for warfare against the Chinese military.”
The US is pressuring Taiwan to “order” yet another batch of “American-made weapons,” according to a new report. On Saturday, the New York Times claimed “current and former U.S. and Taiwanese officials” say fresh arms are needed to ensure Taiwan can “repel” a potential “seaborne invasion by China.”
The report says that Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen is trying to re-orient the province’s military forces around “asymmetric warfare” and has looked to the US “to buy a large number of mobile, lethal weapons that are difficult to target and counter.”
Some of Taipei's requests—such as one for Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopters—have been rejected by the US as insufficiently “suited for warfare against the Chinese military,” claims the Times.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops march in formation Sunday, July 30, 2017, as they arrive for a military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA on Aug - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.05.2022
China to Respond Harshly if US & NATO Try to Use 'Ukraine Playbook' in Taiwan, Author Says
One US government employee interviewed describes ongoing Russian military action as a “wake-up in the Pentagon to make sure Taiwan is serious.” There is a belief among pro-NATO thinktanks that continuing Russian special military operations in Ukraine could inspire Beijing to reunify China at gunpoint.
On Tuesday, US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has taken a hawkish stance towards China, introduced a bill aimed at “fast-tracking” weapons shipments to Taiwan, claiming a Chinese “invasion” of the province “could happen within this decade.”
In recent years, US policy has centered around what legislators in both parties describe as a need to transform Taiwan into a “porcupine” to deter any military advancements from Beijing.
To this day, just 13 United Nations member states recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country. The number has dwindled as Pacific Islands and Latin American nations have pursued increasingly independent foreign relations, despite clear threats by high-ranking officials of the US government (which itself hasn’t recognized Taiwan since 1979).
Taiwan is viewed by the US as crucial for its national security and curtailing China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. US military officials believe that if Taiwan were to be reincorporated into mainland China that Beijing could effectively cut off oil supplies to US allies in the Pacific. With that bargaining chip, Beijing could then negotiate the US' presence out of East Asia altogether.
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