If China conquers Taiwan, it would be huge blow to US national security, economy and diplomatic relations with a rising Asian superpower
The Pentagon is preparing a $15.1bn weapons acquisition bill to support the Taiwan National Security Alliance (TNSA), despite the White House’s refusal to lift its ban on arms sales to the communist government.
The United States also refused the TNSA an annual increase in defence spending, despite a series of military exercises and deployments around the Taiwan region.
The US has been buying armaments from Taiwan for a couple of decades now, mainly for the army but also to provide military support to Taiwan’s military. It is estimated that the US has spent around $12bn on arms for Taiwan from the beginning of the 1990s.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the number of weapons shipments from Taiwan increased from $3.3m in 1991 to $47.1m in 1999.
Taiwan is located between the Philippines, China and Vietnam, as well as South Korea and Japan.
The Pentagon estimates the number of weapons it has deployed in this area from $100m to $600m since the 1990s, compared with $1.5m per year in the 1990s, $2.3m in 2000 and $2.5m in 2005.
This means that China is now building up its military presence in the Taiwan region. The Pentagon believes this is the “main thrust” of Beijing’s military focus on the island.
In the latest escalation in tensions between Beijing and Taipei, the Taipei government has accused China of trying to “force a revision” of the Basic Law. The state media outlet Ta Kung Pao said the Taipei government would not “allow these acts of intimidation or aggression against the democratically-elected government of the Republic of China”.
Earlier this month, Beijing deployed troops and coast guard vessels to the South China Sea and claimed they were patrolling in “self-def