Cai Yingwen "begged" to buy the most powerful tanks and F35B fighters.

Cai Yingwen

Recently, Taiwan media reported that the so-called "US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference", listed as an annual important military exchange, had been scheduled to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, at the end of October. The Taiwan authorities expect to send 5 officials for a 9 day visit. The focus of the talks is to discuss the issue of major arms purchases and defense industry cooperation.

It is understood that in addition to the fact that Taiwan has decided to purchase M1A2 main battle tanks from the United States, it may also inquire about the procurement of F-35 stealth fighters. M1A2 main battle tank is known as "the strongest tank on the surface". It is reported that Taiwan's military plans to build a large number of mini-missile assault boats and develop armed UAV fleet for "deterrence" tactics. Is it possible for the us to sell the F-35 fighters to the Taiwan authorities? Is it true that Taiwan's recent series of military actions that create asymmetrical fighting power are really useful? CCTV's defense new observation column is read for you.

Wang Meng, a CCTV correspondent in Washington, said the "US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference" was seen as an opportunity for Taiwan to express its arms purchase intentions to the United States. It is said that in addition to the fact that the Taiwan authorities have decided to purchase M1A2 main battle tanks from the United States, they may also explore the possibility of purchasing F-35 stealth fighters. The U.S. media has yet to report the news, but Taiwan's intentions to buy the F-35 are long-standing, even dating back to the beginning of this century. Because this latest generation of fighters is really too sensitive, involving not only technical considerations, but also political considerations, the United States has not agreed.

With regard to Taiwan's persistence in F-35, the US media also has its own analysis. The National Interest website points out that although Taiwan has never explicitly indicated which F-35 it wants, the vertical take-off and landing capability of the F-35B is undoubtedly the most important thing for them. Given the PLA's ability to quickly destroy fighter runways in Taiwan, the importance of this vertical takeoff and landing capability is self-evident. Although Taiwan may not be able to buy a sufficient number of F-35, but F-35 detection and anti-detection capabilities can also be incorporated into other aircraft, improve the overall combat effectiveness.

Wang Meng believes that the provisions on arms sales to Taiwan in the defense authorization bill introduced by the United States a month ago are undoubtedly the impetus for Taiwan to re-ignite the idea of buying F-35. Another recent development is one of Taiwan's sources of confidence: last month, McCain, the former chairman of the Senate Military Committee, died of brain cancer and was replaced by Senator Inhoff of Oklahoma, who was originally chairman of the Senate Taiwan Connection Group. He has always supported arms sales to Taiwan and wrote a joint letter to another senator in March asking Trump to agree to the F-35. The news of the man's succession to McCain was announced Monday, and the Taiwan media were also active, seemingly one step closer to the F-35, but the United States also knew that selling the F-35 to Taiwan was dangerous. At a time of tension in Sino-US relations, selling to Taiwan's fifth-generation fighters will undoubtedly be more sensitive. Defense One quoted experts from the Heritage Foundation as saying the sale of F-35 to Taiwan is not so much to enhance their defense capabilities as to make them more dangerous. It will not only deepen tensions in cross-strait relations, but also deepen disputes between China and the United States. So many experts suggest that helping Taiwan upgrade its old equipment might be a better choice for the United States than selling the F-35 directly. (Wen / Lei Geping)

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