Former U.S. official urges Taiwan to strengthen defense investment

Focus Taiwan
Date: 10/24/2020
By: Elaine Hou and Matthew Mazzetta

An F16 fighter of Taiwan’s Armed Forces. CNA file photo

Singapore, Oct. 24 (CNA) A former U.S. defense official has said he sees a growing risk of military conflict between China and Taiwan, and urged Taiwan to demonstrate a commitment to its own defense in order to justify U.S. security guarantees.

Drew Thompson, who served as director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2018 and is now a visiting research fellow at the National University of Singapore, made the appeal Saturday during an interview with CNA.

Thompson said Taiwan has faced growing military and political pressure from China for the last six years, which he ascribed to a People's Liberation Army (PLA) force that is larger and better-funded than ever before.

Many on the Chinese side, including the editor of the state-run Global Times newspaper, have also predicted an increased risk of war, he said, reflecting a calculation in Beijing that military force is now an option for resolving its issues with Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

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