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U.S. lawmaker supports Taiwan arms sales in response to China threat

2019/07/15 17:37

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and Michael McCaul/CNA file photo

Washington, July 14 (CNA) Representative Michael McCaul, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sunday the committee approved a recent U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in response to increased Chinese aggression.

Speaking to Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, the Texas Congressman, who was one of the lawmakers to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday during her layover in New York, said "Chinese are getting very aggressive in Hong Kong, as you just heard. They are also getting very aggressive in Taiwan."

Green-lighting the arms sale, McCaul said, sends a very strong message to China.

"We're going to arm Taiwan, so she can defend herself from what's become a very aggressive Chinese Communist Party right on their doorstep," the Republican told host Maria Bartiromo.

The U.S. announced July 8 a US$2.22 billion arms package to Taiwan that includes 108 M1A2T Abrams Tanks and relevant equipment and support, 250 Block I-92F MANPAD Stinger missiles, and four Block I-92 MANPAD Stinger Fly-to-Buy missiles and related equipment.

The package, however, does not include the advanced F-16s that Taiwan has long sought.

McCaul told media after attending a banquet held by Tsai on Friday for several members of Congress that the White House is expected to send a request for 66 F-16s to be approved by Congress.

Tsai embarked on a 12-day visit to four Caribbean diplomatic allies on July 11 (Taipei time), and was in New York for a two-day visit before heading to the Caribbean. She will stop in Denver on her way back to Taiwan.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Chung Yu-chen)Enditem/AW