Another US-Taiwan arms deal expected by end of year: US-Taiwan Business Council

US-Taiwan Business Council suggests another Taiwan-US arms deal could be announced before the end of 2018

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Rupert Hammond-Chambers

Rupert Hammond-Chambers (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President of the US-Taiwan Business Council Rupert Hammond-Chambers said that another arms deal between Taiwan and the U.S. could be expected before the end of the year, reported CNA.

If true, the military arms sale would be the third during the tenure of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The comments were made during a press event in the lead up to the 2018 U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Maryland, U.S. on Oct. 28. The conference will see participation from senior Taiwan and U.S. officials, and will hold talks on Taiwan’s strategic position in the Indo-Pacific, as well as defense operations, reports suggest.

Hammond-Chambers said that Trump is willing to assist Taiwan to enhance its defensive capabilities, and that there are pro-Taiwan sections in the U.S. Congress and House of Representatives, reported CNA.

He added that the Taiwan-U.S. relationship is moving along the right path.

Hammond-Chambers suggested Taiwan’s announced increases to military spending will bring about economic opportunities, as well as scope for greater Taiwan-U.S. defense cooperation.

He went on to reiterate previous comments commending the move to no longer bundle numerous arms deals into a single sale, saying it will help to minimize Chinese intervention in the sales.

A prospective US$330 million deal for the U.S. to supply Taiwan spare parts and goods for F-16 fighter jets and other military aircraft was approved by both the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Congress in September and October respectively.