Taiwan urges US to boost island’s military self-reliance, deliver weapons

Beijing, Oct 3 (EFE).- Taiwan’s vice defense minister Hsu Yen-pu has asked the United States for help to strengthen the island’s military self-sufficiency and speed up the delivery of weapons ordered from the country, according to reports.

During the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference on Monday in the US state of Virginia, vice minister Hsu Yen-pu called on Washington to help Taipei with “total life cycle systems management” (TLCSM) of weapons and support systems bought from the US, according to Taiwan’s CNA news agency on Tuesday, citing the Ministry of National Defense.

TLCSM is a US military term that refers to the implementation, management and oversight of all activities related to the acquisition, development, production, fielding, maintenance and disposition of a US Department of Defense weapons system throughout its life cycle.

Taiwan currently relies heavily on the US for the maintenance of most of its American-made weapons systems.

This initiative would not only accelerate arms deliveries to Taiwan, but also integrate the defense industries of both nations, strengthening Taiwan’s self-reliance and resilience in terms of defense, Hsu said.

According to CNA, Hsu also expressed gratitude to US President Joe Biden for supporting a $345 million military aid package for Taiwan and for approving 11 rounds of arms sales since took office.

The conference is attended by more than 200 representatives from the governments of Taiwan and the US, as well as the defense industry.

Taiwan’s request comes amid tension between the island and Beijing. On Sep. 18, Taipei reported a record number of incursions by the Chinese military, with the presence of 103 aircraft, and on the 11th it detected more of 20 ships around the island.

According to China, the military exercises were aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces, and warned that it will continue to carry out maneuvers if the “provocations” do not stop.

Taiwan’s National Defense Ministry said that these latest Chinese maneuvers were “abnormal,” while Vice President William Lai recently said that “Beijing’s attempts to annex Taiwan have not changed.”

Lai leads the polls to win the island’s presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 13, 2024, which will decide the direction of Taiwanese policy towards China. EFE


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