According to eight sources heard by Reuters, the White House is proceeding to ask Congress to authorize the sale of MQ-9 Reaper drones and Harpoon land-sea missile defense systems to Taiwan. This series of orders follows in a few days another that concerns Himars M142 multiple self-propelled rocket launchers, Slam-Er long-range air-to-ground missiles, and electro-optical pods for F-16 fighter-bombers. These three contracts have already been notified – again according to Reuters – to the legislators: a clear signal of how the United States intends to close the order and supply quickly, even before November 3, if we consider that the rumors of these agreements have begun to circulate. only last month (again on Reuters, which evidently has a channel on the subject).
All the rumors have never been denied, and this means that they were artfully released. That is, it is information given to journalists to write about it: a way to avoid official communiques for now – and in fact the State Department responded with a no comment to the news. But there are few doubts about the official status, so much so that the Chinese embassy in the US has released a statement in recent days in which it urged Washington to block the multiple order in order to “avoid serious damage to US-China relations and to peace and stability in the Strait: China will provide a legitimate and necessary response based on how the situation develops “.
In total, $ 5 billion worth of military expeditions would be at stake. Of all the supplies, the most important is certainly that of the Reaper: the Trump administration has decided to reinterpret an international arms deal, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and sell more drone systems to other countries. Washington has chosen Taiwan to initiate this new policy, just as President Tsai Ing-wen was the first international leader to speak with the newly elected Donald Trump . Clear will, with a clear meaning: to shift the American political weight on a very rough dossier for China – which considers Taiwan a rebel province to be reinstated in mainland even with arms.
Strengthening it militarily is part of the porcupine strategy, which National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien spoke about last week (in a speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) . Developing deterrence in situ is crucial for Washington, which recently called for more to be done in this regard. Taipei has announced to raise military spending by 10 percent, but the United States is still not enough. Concept clearly explained by David Helvey, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, speaking to the US-Taiwan Business Council said: “These (spending) increases, while a step in the right direction, however, are not enough to ensure that Taiwan can leverage its geography, advanced technology, workforce and patriotic population to harness the intrinsic advantages of Taiwan needed for a resilient defense ”.
The point is quite central to the relations between Washington and Taipei and related developments affecting China. The Americans the solution is to transform the island into a porcupine – anti-ship systems to block any landings, agile flotillas, mobile artillery launchers, reinforcement of the air cover – and make it armored. This would be the way to avert an aggression by China. For Taiwan, however, to arm themselves is only part of the development of deterrence, but the bulk of them would like to create it thanks to the full support from the United States. That is, they would like American direct involvement to increase and to act as a guarantee for not being attacked by China.
In exchange, the Taiwanese government promises to participate in the security and monitoring activities of the Asian routes, and guarantees availability in the debated topic of “freedom of navigation” that Washington cares about as a proxy with which to manage both the presence along the Strait axis and that between the disputed islets of the China Sea (two strategic areas for Beijing). The American attitude is fully in line with the strategy. The US is no longer willing to give allies and partners free meals: in this case they are willing to make extra concessions on armaments, but they want to see Taiwanese investments. An attitude that was taken up for propaganda use by the Global Times: according to the Chinese Party / State newspaper,

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