Taiwan wants to order $2 billion worth of American tanks and missiles

The Taiwanese government has sent a request to the American authorities to authorize the order of 108 M1A2 battle tanks, 1240 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 Javelin infantry anti-tank missiles, and 250 Stinger portable anti-aircraft systems, representing a total order reaching $2 billion. , in addition to the request transmitted a few months ago for the acquisition of 66 F16B Block 70/72 for an amount exceeding $12 billion.

Taipei's request certainly makes a lot of sense, the Taiwanese armed forces today only having 450 obsolete M60s and as many M48 Pattons, more than 50 years old, to defend its territory, and has, on several occasions, made similar requests to Washington. But it is its timing which must, today, attract our attention.

Indeed, the request, and its public disclosure, comes only 2 days after the very firm statements of Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe during the Shangri-la meetings, in which he clearly threatened military reprisals to anyone who provided military support to the independent island, but considered seditious by Beijing. By publishing this request, which is also independent of any form of financing, Taipei wants to force Washington to openly take a position in defense of the island's independence, at the risk of triggering the wrath of the Chinese authorities.

One thing is certain, if the American authorities responded favorably to this request, it would represent a casus belli for Beijing, and would risk precipitating the global confrontation that Florence Parly spoke of in her speech at the Shangri-la conference. On the other hand, if Washington decided to ignore it, this would be seen as a sign of weakness by the United States' adversaries, who could, therefore, decide to precipitate events. A situation that Taiwan knows well, which has lived in this torment for many years, and which sees the position of the Chinese government becoming more radical against it every day.

We understand, therefore, the motivations which pushed the Taiwanese leaders to provoke destiny by making this request, and by making it public.

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