The Washington-Biden administration is quietly pressured the Taiwanese government to order US-made weapons to help repel China’s maritime invasion, rather than weapons designed for traditional set-piece wars. , Current and former US and Taiwanese officials say.
The US campaign to shape Taiwan’s defense has grown urgently since it was in full swing. Russia invades Ukraine Ordered by President Vladimirputin in late February. The war convinced Washington and Taipei that China’s invasion of Taiwan in the coming years was a potential danger — and it was the right weapon to adopt an asymmetric warfare strategy that focused on mobility and precision attacks. You can defeat smaller troops with, larger enemies.
U.S. officials are revisiting the capabilities of the Taiwanese army to determine if it can fight the aggression, as the Ukrainian army does.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is turning his army into an asymmetric warfare, moving to buy a large number of mobile and deadly weapons that are difficult to target and counter.
However, some Taiwanese defense officials are resistant. And U.S. authorities have decided on the specific weapon system that the Taiwan Ministry of Defense tried to order — MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter For example, the one made by Lockheed Martin is not suitable for war with the Chinese army.
US officials have warned their Taiwanese responders that the State Department will reject such requests. They also told American weapons makers to refrain from asking US agencies to approve Taiwan’s orders for certain weapons. The procurement process is complex and involves many stakeholders.
The promotion by the Biden administration has expanded and accelerated similar efforts by officials from the Trump and Obama administrations.Democratic and Republican officials and lawmakers say one lesson of the Ukrainian war is the United States Must help transform Taiwan into a “porcupine” Deter Potential attack From China.
Nine current and former American and Taiwanese officials familiar with the debate talked about the terms of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.
“I feel there has been a change,” he said. Bonnie S. GlazerEast Asian analysts US German Marshall Fund.. “It started before the invasion of Ukraine, but since then I think it’s really, really solidified. There was this awakening call at the Pentagon to make sure Taiwan was serious, and we too. You need to be serious. “
State Department and Pentagon officials have been involved in discussions with the Taiwanese government. Parliamentarians and parliamentary aides delivered similar messages.Biden administration too Sent a bipartisan delegation Of the five former national security officials stationed in Taiwan in early March, we talked with Mr. Tsai and other officials about the country’s defense strategy and arms procurement.
“Continuing to pursue systems that do not contribute meaningfully to effective defense strategies is inconsistent with the evolving security threats facing Taiwan,” a State Department representative said in a statement. “Therefore, the United States strongly supports Taiwan’s efforts to implement an asymmetric defense strategy.”
Another State Department official said the conversation with Taiwan on weapons took place early in the Biden administration, and the two governments are now reviewing lessons learned from the Ukrainian war.
For decades, Communist-controlled China has vowed to take control of its US partner, Taiwan, a virtually independent democratic island. There are no signs that the war is imminent, but Chinese President Xi Jinping has adopted a more aggressive foreign policy than his predecessor, and U.S. officials may invade Taiwan to seal his legacy. I’m afraid I can’t.
The Taiwan Relations Act The US government in 1979 mandated Taiwan to provide equipment of a defensive nature. Since then, all governments have maintained a policy of “policy of deliberate ambiguity” on the issue of military intervention. In other words, it does not explicitly state whether the US military will protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
President Biden said he would keep U.S. forces away from the fighting in Ukraine, but approved the transportation of small mobile weapons that helped Ukrainian troops defeat Russian troops in important battles, including around the capital Kieu. The Ukrainian army used an asymmetric strategy to make a big difference, showing stubborn resistance to Russian tanks, fighters and battalion groups. The Ukrainian arsenal includes Javelin missiles and Stinger missiles, as well as armed drones.
China’s invasion of Taiwan will be more difficult, unlike the efforts of Russian troops in Ukraine. Chinese warships must cross over 100 miles of water in the Taiwan Strait and the army of the island. The Chinese and Taiwanese sides of the strait are raging with missiles aimed at each other, and the United States and its allies regularly send warships through waterways as a show of power.
Replenishing weapons to the besieged Taiwan, the island, may prove to be more difficult for the United States and its allies than Ukraine. As a result, some officials are considering stockpiling large amounts of ammunition in Taiwan.
In 2019, the State Department approved the sale of $ 2.2 billion in weapons to Taiwan, including 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks. Some U.S. officials at the time personally criticized the island as destined if Chinese troops invaded so much that Taiwan had to use tanks.
Many of Taiwan’s recent orders are in line with an asymmetric strategy. However, some Taiwanese officials continue to put pressure on US authorities on the demands of expensive, traditional platforms such as Abrams tanks.
Some Taiwanese defense experts argue that the island needs some traditional system to prepare for various war scenarios involving China.
Russia-Ukraine War: Significant Progress
Victory day concerns. President Volodymyr Zelensky called on citizens to pay attention to the local curfew amid the growing threat of Russia’s attacks.National officials said President Vladimir Putin of Russia Victory day holiday May 9 to strengthen the fighting in Ukraine and change what he calls a “special military operation” In an obvious full-scale war..
Chieh Chung, a security analyst at the National Policy Research Fund in Taipei, said: .. He said he was worried that the Ukrainian war might have caused Americans to dig deeper into the idea of asymmetry without considering Taiwan’s specific needs.
“Our artillery system is very old and needs to be upgraded,” he added. “How can we ask us to protect our World War II equipment from China?”
On Thursday, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-chenk told parliament that the MH-60R helicopter was too expensive to buy. He did not say that US officials were urging Taiwan not to buy helicopters. US and Taiwanese officials are also discussing whether Taiwan should buy a Northrop Grumman E-2D aircraft.
In recent weeks, Taiwanese officials have complained to the US government and US weapons makers about delays in delivery and unprocessed orders. Officials said Tsai himself sent a message to Washington.
Chiu said the order for the two weapons was delayed. The first was the purchase of the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer manufactured by BAE Systems, which Taiwan officials said were stagnant due to inadequate production capacity. The Pentagon said it is considering several US-provided alternatives, including the HIMARS rocket launcher. BAE Systems said Defense news Last week it was capable of manufacturing Taiwanese howitzers.
Orders for Stinger’s anti-aircraft missiles have also been delayed, Chiu said.
Ukraine wants Regular shipment of Javelin missiles and Stinger missiles, And the Biden administration offers them. Mr Chiu said Taiwan has already signed a contract with Stinger’s and paid for it. State Department officials said the Ukrainian war did not affect Taiwan’s order.
The Stinger is one of the types of weapons that US authorities have recommended to Taiwan to order. Americans also urged Taiwan to buy a Boeing-made harpoon anti-ship missile. April, Ukrainian army Sinked the Russian flagshipUses Neptune anti-ship missiles made in Moscow and Ukraine. The attack, carried out with the help of information provided by Americans, was a characteristic moment of the war.
Some U.S. officials say Taiwan should also increase its purchases of coastal air defense missile systems, armed drones, and mines.
“The question is how much focus is on asymmetric warfare compared to other priorities.” Evan S. MedeirosSenior Asian Director of the National Security Council of President Barack Obama.
During the Ukrainian War, suspicions about China’s intentions toward Taiwan in Washington and Taipei increased. This is because Chinese authorities have consistently supported the rationale for Mr Putin’s aggression. Helped spread disinformation and conspiracy theories It supports Russia.
On February 4, when Mr Xi and Mr Putin met in Beijing before the start of the Winter Olympics, the two governments issued a joint statement stating that the partnership was “unrestricted.” Russia has declared that Taiwan is “an inseparable part of China.”
Edward Wong Reported from Washington, and Amy Hata From Taipei, Taiwan.