American military reaffirms U.S. policy on arms sales to Taiwan

Los Angeles, Dec. 1 (CNA) The United States military has reaffirmed the country's policy of providing arms to Taiwan for its self-defense as it introduced an annual day planner for 2016 published by a military-funded think tank. "Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense," said U.S. Army Mayor Dave Eastburn, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), in an e-mail to CNA on Tuesday. "We believe our policy supports improved relations across the Taiwan Strait by providing Taipei with confidence to pursue constructive interactions with Beijing," Eastburn said. The new annual day planner, published by the Asia Pacific Defense Forum, a USPACOM-funded think tank, features photos depicting military activities in 17 countries and areas in the Asia-Pacific region. It includes photos of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and the national flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The photo of Ma shows the president reviewing military troops. The other countries featured were Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nepal, New Zealand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia and Sri Lanka. China and North Korea were not included. Eastburn said the photos selected for the annual day planner "depict the militaries found across the region and how they work together to meet a broad range of security challenges." (By Edward Tsao and Elizabeth Hsu)