U.S. ban on offensive weapons for Taiwan no longer realistic: U.S. expert

Taiwan already developing energy weapons: Fisher

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U.S. military expert Richard Fisher.

U.S. military expert Richard Fisher. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The restriction on arms sales to Taiwan to defensive weapons is no longer realistic considering China’s intensive military buildup, United States expert Richard Fisher said at a seminar Thursday.

Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, made the statement at an event organized the George Washington University’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Central News Agency reported.

In the past, the U.S. installed the ban on sales of offensive weapons to Taiwan in order to please China, but with the continuous rise of China’s military threat toward the island, this situation is no longer acceptable, Fisher said.

Previous studies had estimated that China would obtain the capability to successfully attack Taiwan in 2020, so if that trend was not changed or averted, and if for example, China also moved into space, the U.S. might become unable to defend Taiwan, Fisher reportedly said.

Washington should evaluate Taiwan’s needs for both defensive and offensive weapons, and even help it develop space weaponry, CNA quoted Fisher as saying. In space, the island could closely observe what China’s People’s Liberation Army was doing, he added.

Taiwan was already developing “energy weapons,” a domain where the U.S. could provide technical assistance and which might help with the destruction of incoming missiles, according to the military expert.