Senator proposes routinised US arms sales to Taiwan, once every two years

21-Jun-2019 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Making weapons sales on regular basis will dissuade China from politicising them, says Cory Gardner

US Senator from Colorado, Cory Gardner, speaking at a forum in Washington D.C. on June 18 called for the US to routinise arms sales to Taiwan, proposing a single bulk arms deal with Taiwan every two years.

Gardner made the proposal during his opening keynote address at the 2019 Asia Policy Assembly, hosted by the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). Gardner argued that if weapons deals are made regular, it will keep them from becoming politicised.

His remarks on the politicisation of arms sales to Taiwan, come days after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article casting uncertainty on a recently approved $2.6 billion dollar deal to Taiwan for tanks and defensive missile systems.

The WSJ, reporting unnamed sources, claims the Trump White House is divided over whether or not to go through with the deal, announced in early June over fears that Xi Jinping may use the deal as a pretext to stall trade negotiations with the US

Voice of America reports that Gardner supports regular arms sales to Taiwan because he believes this is the obligation of the US as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act and more recently the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, passed on December 31, 2018.

Gardner pointed out that when arms sales to Taiwan have been sporadic with many years between sales, there is a higher likelihood that China will make a fuss and make it an unnecessarily politicised issue.

Making arm sales more regular, with one guaranteed sale every two years, will increase Taiwan’s sense of assurance in its relations with the US, and help maintain the country’s robust defenses to the huge threat that China poses to Taiwan’s democratic society.


Category: Taiwan

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