Taiwan Buys Lots Of Tanks, But Really Wants New F-16Vs

As dozens of US and allied warships operate in the Pacific, trailed by a Chinese spy ship, the Trump administration debates selling new F-16s to Taiwan.

Breaking Defense
Date: July 09, 2019
By: Paul McLeary

A US Army M1 Abrams heavy tank unloads from a transport ship.

WASHINGTON: China is demanding the US halt the proposed $2 billion sale of Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles to Taiwan while warning it will act to protect itself.

On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang demanded the US should “immediately cancel” the deal with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, not an independent country.

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.    [FULL  STORY]

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