Regional security hinges on a secure Taiwan, says former US official

The former US defense specialist stressed the importance of boosting Taiwan’s defense capabilities

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F-16 Fighting Falcon (US Air Force photo)

F-16 Fighting Falcon (US Air Force photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A former U.S. defense official commended the recent arms sales of advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan on Tuesday (Aug. 20), while making a case for a secure Taiwan that he believes is the prerequisite to regional security.

Wallace C. Gregson, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, made the remarks during a speech at the Ketagalan Forum: 2019 Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue, reported Liberty Times.

Speaking on the sidelines, Gregson noted that sales of 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks and F-16V fighter jets, which have been approved by Washington in the past two months, will serve to safeguard the island. Taiwan is also advised to implement sound strategies to make the most of the military equipment procured from the U.S.

According to the retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, the M1A2 Abrams tanks boast high-mobility, as well as improved armaments and electronics. The F-16V jets are fitted with upgraded systems that are capable of counteracting cruise missiles, said the report.

As for China’s tactics against Taiwan in the run-up to the elections next year, the former U.S. defense official suggested that Beijing is likely to go all-out and ramp up pressure on the island. Possible means of doing this include putting diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan, and engaging in misinformation campaigns.