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US calls on Taiwan to strengthen asymmetric warfare capabilities

US suggests Taiwan build cost-effective, mobile, resilient, decentralized defense system.

Taiwan soldiers firing Javelin missile. 

Taiwan soldiers firing Javelin missile.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. officials called on Taiwan to strengthen its asymmetrical warfare capabilities during a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday (March 10).

Committee chairman Bob Menendez and Senator Jim Risch both expressed concern about how to avoid a similar situation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly with regard to Taiwan, CNA reported.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities Mara Karlin said that Taipei holds regular consultations with Washington on its defense needs to ensure it has a military force capable of responding to current threats. She said that from the situation in Ukraine, Taiwan can understand why it must do everything it can to develop asymmetrical combat power and prepare its people for war.

This way, if China chooses to violate Taiwan’s sovereignty, Taiwan can act as quickly as possible, Carlin said.

When asked by Menendez whether Taiwan should focus on strengthening asymmetric warfare rather than buying conventional weapons, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Jessica Lewis pointed out that the U.S. believes Taiwan should focus on asymmetric combat power, which means building a cost-effective, mobile, resilient, and decentralized defense system.

She said that Taiwan should also reform its reservist system, as the war in Ukraine shows that citizens must be prepared to fight. Taiwan is currently taking steps to address the issue, by establishing the National Defense Mobilization Agency and cooperating with the U.S. National Guard, she added.

She also stressed that the U.S. does not want to see a conflict in Taiwan.

Updated : 2022-05-29 10:33 GMT+08:00