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America vows to continue supplying arms to Taiwan


The Perry-class guided missile frigate of US Navy. Taiwan has expressed interest in buying the frigates from the US.

WASHINGTON (AP): US military officials have vowed to provide Taiwan with weapons to protect itself from a possible Chinese attack, despite Beijing's warning that such sales are meddling and could lead to conflict.

The officials told US lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Wednesday that China is boosting preparations for a short, intense fight against the self-governing island that it claims as its own territory.

That military build-up, which includes more than 1,000 ballistic missiles deployed opposite Taiwan, is in stark contrast to the improved ties between the rivals since the March 2008 election of a more China-friendly Taiwan president, Ma Ying-jeou.

The comments come as the United States prepares for an expected announcement of arms sales for Taiwan and follows China's announcement Monday that its military intercepted a missile in mid-flight in a test of new technology.

The commander of US forces in the Pacific, Admiral Robert Willard, said that Beijing's military advancements make worse the already heavy combat imbalance between China and Taiwan.

Willard told lawmakers that the US military is trying to reconcile China's claims that its forces are defensive with a military capability that is growing more powerful and outward-looking.

That “can only occur through continuous, frank conversations and a strong and mature military-to-military relationship – a relationship that does not yet exist with the People's Liberation Army,” Willard said, referring to China's army.

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