Wednesday, June 30, 2010

China lobbying provokes freeze on US arms sales

The president of the US-Taiwan Business Council yesterday confirmed a report in a US-based defense magazine that the US State Department had frozen US congressional notifications for new arms sales to Taiwan “until at least spring next year.”

Citing sources in Taipei and Washington, Defense News on Monday wrote that the suspension was the direct result of “effective lobbying by Beijing.”

“The Chinese are ramping up the pressure and engaging us in disinformation to complicate our review, particularly in the context of a vulnerable process for arms sales,” a defense analyst in Washington told the magazine.

US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers told the Taipei Times that so far, three notifications had been frozen, with more expected to “stack up” as the year progresses. He said the freeze has been in force for “at least a month,” but would not confirm the content of the notifications.

This article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here. I am still awaiting responses from the US State Department and the Department of Defense's Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

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