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MND welcomes U.S. bill backing military cooperation with Taiwan

MND welcomes U.S. bill backing military cooperation with Taiwan

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Taiwan expressed gratitude Saturday to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee for having inserted provisions promoting military cooperation with Taiwan in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Bill. "The Defense Ministry is grateful to members of the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee for pushing a bill that would strengthen the Republic of China's self-defense," said ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (???). His remarks came after the bill, which includes a section on Taiwan's asymmetric military capabilities and bilateral training activities, cleared the Armed Services Committee on May 14. It will be submitted to the full floor for a vote. The section says that the U.S., in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, should continue to make available to Taiwan such defense articles and services as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense. "The United States should continue to support the efforts of Taiwan to integrate innovative and asymmetric measures to balance the growing military capabilities of the People's Republic of China," the bill says. The support should consist of fast-attack craft, coastal-defense cruise missiles, rapid-runway repair systems, offensive mines and submarines optimized for defense of the Taiwan Strait, according to the bill. In response, Luo said submarines are at the top of the list of weapons the military is trying to acquire to maintain Taiwan's maritime security, and he repeated an appeal for U.S. assistance as Taiwan pushes forward with an indigenous submarine program. Meanwhile, in the face of China's military threat, Taiwan will continue its efforts to build a small but strong force based on innovative, asymmetric measures as a deterrent to China, he said. He also said that Taiwan welcomes any military exchanges that will help bolster Taiwan's military capabilities and promote peace and stability in the region, in response to the bill, which also supports Taiwan's participation in military training with the U.S. "The military forces of Taiwan should be permitted to participate in bilateral training activities hosted by the U.S. that increase credible deterrent capabilities of Taiwan, particularly those that emphasize the defense of Taiwan from missile attack, maritime blockade and amphibious invasion by the People's Republic of China," the bill says. It also states that Taiwan should be encouraged to participate in exercises that include realistic air-to-air combat training, including the exercises conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, commonly referred to as "Red Flag." Taiwan should also be encouraged to participate in advanced bilateral training for its ground forces, Apache attack helicopters and P-3 surveillance aircraft in island-defense scenarios, the bill says. (By Tony Liao, Y.F. Low and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-19 17:29 GMT+08:00