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UN details massive US arms sales to Taiwan

Gulf Times | September 12 2006

TAIPEI: The UN Conventional Arms Registry (UNCAR) shows that the US has sold huge amounts of weapons to Taiwan in the past decade to help defend Taiwan against China, the Central News Agency (CNA) said yesterday.

CNA said that the US has reported its arms sales to UNCAR from 1995 to 2005, but has been asked by the UN to stop the reporting as Taiwan is not a UN member.

In line with the UN decision, the US will stop reporting its arms transfers to Taiwan next year, but will publicise the information separately in the spirit of transparency, CNA quoted an unnamed State Department official as saying.
According to the UN’s registry, the weapons’ systems the US has provided to Taiwan from 1995-2005 have formed the backbone of Taiwan’s national defence.

In the past 11 years, the US has transferred to Taiwan about 400 M60A3 tanks, 150 F-16 A/B warplanes, 8 destroyers, 6 frigates, 50 AH-1 attack helicopters/OH-58 attack/search helicopters, 52 assault amphibious full-tracked landing vehicles, 28 M109A5 self-propelled howitzers, CNA said in a dispatch from Geneva.

There was no exact account of the missiles the US has sold to Taiwan, but the most important include 120 AIM-120 AMRAAM, 500 Sparrows and an unspecified number of Standards.

The US has also provided Taiwan with Harpoon and Maverick missiles as well as three HARMs, which are used to destroy anti-missile systems.

CNA said that in recent years, Taiwan has deployed advanced US radar, command, communication and electronics’ warfare systems, but these were not required to be reported to UNCAR, and the US has not mentioned the Patriot anti-missile system it has sold to Taipei.

CNA said US arms sales to Taiwan will increase if the island’s parliament passes the budget for the eight diesel-electric submarines, 12 P3-C anti-submarine aircrafts and PAC-3 anti-missile system that the US has agreed to sell to Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry is also seeking to acquire F-16C/Ds, but has yet to receive approval from Washington, CNA added.

The US used to be a long-time anti-Communist ally of the Chinese Nationalist government, which moved its seat from Nanjing, China, to Taipei in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War.

In 1979, the US dropped bull formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan to recognise China, but signed the Taiwan Relations Act, pledging to continue to provide defensive arms to Taiwan.

China has repeatedly demanded the US halt arms sales to Taiwan, saying Taiwan is a Chinese province and the US arms sales has hindered China-Taiwan reunification

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