Taiwan cuts military spending amid improved China ties

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Koji, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    Taiwan cuts military spending amid improved China ties | Defense & Security News at Defense Talk

    Taipei: Taiwan has scaled back its military budget for 2010, officials said Tuesday, amid generally warming ties with its former bitter rival China.
    Taiwan's parliament, controlled by the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party, rubber-stamped a budget of 297.4 billion Taiwan dollars (9.3 billion US) for the defence ministry.

    It is a 6.7 percent fall from the 318.6 billion dollar budget in 2009, the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said.
    Ties between Taipei and Beijing have eased markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang was elected in March 2008 on a platform to boost trade with the mainland and to allow in more Chinese tourists.
    Even so, Taiwan remains wary of China's objectives, often citing more than 1,000 missiles lined up on its coastline facing the island.
    The US Defense Department announced last week that it had approved the sale of Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan as part of a package passed by Congress more than a year ago.
    The arms deal sparked strong protests from Beijing, who warned that the move would violate its security and severely undermine trust between the United States and Chinese militaries.
    The United States is the leading arms supplier to self-ruled Taiwan, even though it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
    China has over the years repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence.
    Beijing still regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting to be reunified, by force if necessary, although the island has governed itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    These cuts will not impact the patriot missile and F-16 sales, it's just an article to make China happy while building the defenses.
     
  4. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    Keep up with the news. The US is now extremely unwilling to see F-16's or Blackhawk helicopters to Taiwan b/c of Chinese pressure.

    U.S. business group accuses Obama of shorting Taiwan | Reuters
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I have not seen any news that says the deal has been cancelled, if it is cancelled Obama is history.
     
  6. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    Haha, why do you say that? Popularity of the arms sale is at an all time low both in the US and especially in Taiwan.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama blows the big deals we will see how US corporations react; how Chinese feel has 0% impact this is just buisness.
     
  8. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    It's ALL about how the Taiwanese feel about it, and besides the hawks in government, the lay populace simply doesn't want the arms. Who voted the KMT into office anyways?
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US arms sale to Taiwan not to harm relations: analysts

    US arms sale to Taiwan not to harm relations: analysts
    By Wu Jiao and Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
    Updated: 2010-01-13 07:27
    China and the United States are poised to downplay the recent row over a US decision to sell arms to Taiwan last week, as the two countries are unlikely to damage their economic relations or harm their cooperation in global affairs, analysts said.

    China on Monday conducted a missile interception test, which was seen as a signal against the arms sale. However, the Foreign Ministry yesterday insisted the test was "defensive in nature and was not targeted at any country or region".

    The test followed the Obama administration's approval last week to sell Taiwan PAC-3 Patriot air-defense missile systems that can shoot down short-range missiles.

    China reacted strongly to the US decision, issuing six protesting statements in three days criticizing the deal. China's defense ministry warned over the weekend that it reserved the right to take unspecified action if Washington followed through with the sale, which it called a "severe obstacle" to China-US military ties.

    AFP has quoted analysts as saying the Chinese mainland's missile test would keep pressure on the US over the Taiwan deal and was likely to have been conducted as a show of force.

    Yet Jin Canrong, a scholar on international studies with Beijing-based Renmin University of China, said the test should not be associated with the PAC-3 sale, because the weapon was defensive in nature.

    Niu Jun, a scholar with Peking University, agreed that since the PAC-3 deal was part of the 2008 arms sale plan that the former Bush administration inked and the weapon was defensive, it was unlikely it would drive the two countries to halt military ties, which happened when the 2008 deal was announced.

    Reuters said in its report that the row over the arms sales shows no sign of escalating into military confrontation or diplomatic upheaval.

    On the US side, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday also played down friction between the US and China, saying she thinks the countries have a "mature" enough relationship to be able to handle those differences.

    "Everyone's aware that China is a rising power of the 21st century," Clinton said on the first day of her first trip of the new year - a nine-day, three-nation Asia-Pacific journey.

    Fan Jishe, a scholar in US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Clinton's remarks show the US is not willing to irritate China, whose help it needs in both domestic and global affairs.

    "The US needs China's help on many aspects, including the Korean and Iranian nuclear issues. It will weigh its action first and try to contain the risks," said Fan.

    Fan predicts that both sides will downplay the row to bring bilateral relations back to normal as soon as possible. Yet he cautioned bilateral ties might become tense again when Obama meets the Dalai Lama, or trade friction becomes an issue as the US experiences job losses.

    "If the Obama administration cannot contain the current row, how can it stop the other frictions from escalating, which, when added together, could lead to a stalemate in bilateral relations again," said Fan.

    Fan hinted that those frictions are unavoidable as US mid-term election is approaching and Obama is under domestic pressure dealing with some China-related affairs; however, the US might painstakingly time the occurrences in order to contain the risk.

    For instance, Obama will try to meet with the Dalai Lama in a more personal and private manner instead of in a high profile way, Fan said.

    Niu with Peking University also said the Obama administration actually has been quite cautious in its decision on the arms sale.

    "The US has not touched upon weapons which would be the most destructive to mainland security, including F-16 fighters and diesel-electric submarines," Niu said.


    Chinese have accepted this
     
  10. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    The cuts in military spending have less to do with, "generally warming ties" and more to do with the impacts of the global recession. After suffering from the worst and deepest recession after the War, Taiwan's economy is now in recovery and has been for the last quarter of 2009, but has not sustained enough of a recovery to warrant an increase, or even a maintenance, of defense spending in 2010 fiscal (passed in June 2009). This comes after a 15.1% increase in defense spending in 2009, despite "warming relations" between the two countries then too.

    Don't worry about the F-16's. Taiwan's 146 F-16's are scheduled to undergo a massive mid-life service upgrade, and I mean massive.

    Under consideration are replacing the APG-66(V)3 radar with the APG-68(V)9; upgrading the modular mission computer to the MMC-7000; and adding new color multifunction displays, the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, a new internal electronic countermeasures jammer and advanced targeting pods.

    New GE F110-GE-129 or Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 mite also be on the cards, if Taiwan's government, which have been known for dithering on funding issues in the past, can cough up the mo ha.

    December, 2009 also saw the sending of a notification to Congress by the DoD about the sale of 60 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Taiwan. And I don't need to remind you about the Dec 2009-approved $1.1 billion package for numerous batteries "new-production" Patriot anti-fire units. And, ofcourse, the tri-party lease of german U-214 submarines to Taiwan. Now, that's a novel way to get around German concerns, sell to the US and the US to lease to the ROC. Who woulda thought!
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Taiwan plans to buy US frigates despite China thaw | Navy News at Defense Talk

    Taiwan plans to buy US frigates despite China thaw




    TAIPEI: Taiwan plans to buy eight second-hand Perry-class frigates from the United States despite improved ties with once-bitter foe China, a local newspaper reported Monday.

    The island hopes to arm them with a version of the advanced Aegis Combat System, which uses computers and radar to take out multiple targets, as well as sophisticated missile launch technology, theTaipei-based China Times said.

    The defence ministry said in a reaction to the report that ageing frigates now serving the navy needed to be phased out, but that it had not yet decided on the type of vessels that would replace them.

    "The overall strategy of the armed forces will be taken into consideration as the defence ministry evaluates the plan," it said in a statement, adding that the budget would be another factor to be weighed.

    The United States designed the Perry-class frigates in the 1970s but the majority remain in service, equipped with various forms of modern technology.

    The deal would add to Taiwan's existing inventory, as it already has eight Perry-class frigates built on the island.

    The China Times report came less than a week after the US Defense Department said it had approved the sale of Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan as part of a package passed by Congress more than a year ago.

    When unveiled in 2008, the package triggered strong protests from Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to take the island back, by force if necessary.

    The United States is the leading arms supplier to self-ruled Taiwan, even though it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

    Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou came to power in 2008, promising to boost trade ties and allowing in more Chinese tourists.
     

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