US Bolsters Phillipines and Taiwan Defences Equipping Armies with Advanced Equipment
The modernisation of both armies will further strengthen the Taiwanese and Philippines military’s strategic and defense needs in the time of increased hostility from Communist China, the representatives of both states said independently on Wednesday.
Taiwan and the Phillipines have received roughly $320 billion worth of sophisticated military equipment from the United States both countries defense ministries informed on Wednesday, a part of efforts to bolster country’s defence against increasing hostility of Communist China and terrorist threats. The US State Department approved a $280 million sale to Taiwan of the most advanced military communications systems. The package includes a Field Information Communications System, consisting of 154 communication nodes, 24 communication relays and eight network management systems, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.
It also involves verification testing, personnel training and training equipment, an initial repair and return program, technical and logistics support services, and contractor-provided training, it said.
New military equipment will help improve the security of Taiwan
and assist in maintaining political stability
In a statement, the US State Department said it had approved the communications sale to “help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region”.
Taipei welcomed the potential sale, with the Presidential Office thanking the US for its sixth arms sale this year, and the 11th by the Trump administration.
The sale once again highlights the US government’s substantive actions to fulfil its security commitments under the US’ Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances,” and will further strengthen the Taiwanese military’s strategic and defense needs, Presidential Office spokesman Mr. Xavier Chang said in the statement.
With the new system, Taiwan would be able to upgrade its Improved Mobile Subscriber Equipment, Taiwan Security Analysis Center director Mei Fu-hsing stated.
The military first introduced the IMSE system in 1996, with the last procurement being made in 2001, he said. The new system is expected to integrate different combat systems through the 154 nodes that would act as mobile telecommunication base stations, said Mr. Su Tzu-yun, director of the Division of Defense Strategy and Resources at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research.
The sale reflects the US’ commitment to developing military-grade broadband communications and encryption techniques with its allies, he said, adding that 5G technology is not yet applied in the military communications.
The Philippines has received free-of-charge military equipment including sniper rifles and anti-improvised explosive device gear was handed over during a visit by acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who is on a two-nation visit in Southeast Asia.
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region.
The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will ultimately allow us to respond more effectively to both traditional and non-traditional security threats to our maritime nation, Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, having received 33 billion pesos worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, and small arms since 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Manila said.
Miller’s trip came just a few weeks after U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien’s visited Manila to deliver $18 million worth of precision-guided munitions.
Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured the Philippines it would come to its defense if attacked in the South China Sea.