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10 Apr 2024

Taiwan's Navy leaders seek cooperation with US at annual exposition: Voice of America

Taiwan's Navy leaders seek cooperation with US at annual exposition: Voice of America
DVIDS Image /All images are for illustrative purposes only.
Originally posted on Voice of America - By Tina Chung

Taiwan Navy Commander Admiral Tang Hua said during a trip to Maryland that the self-governing island wants more cooperation with the U.S. and other countries amid military pressure from China.

But as to whether or not he would hold direct talks with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Lisa Franchetti, as reported by Reuters, Tang said he would not comment so as to avoid China's protest causing trouble to the U.S. side.

Speaking to VOA on Monday at this year's Sea-Air-Space Conference hosted by the Navy League of the U.S. at National Harbor, outside of Washington, Tang said he would meet with navy personnel from the U.S. and other countries.

"I think the People's Liberation Army's problem with Taiwan is not just about Taiwan," he said. "It may be in the East China Sea or the South China Sea. It is a global issue, not an issue specifically targeting Taiwan."

Taiwan split from China in 1950 after the nationalists lost to the communists and fled to the island, where they established a government that eventually became a democracy.

China claims Taiwan is a breakaway province that must one day reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and claims most of the South China Sea as its own, putting it in conflict with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The U.S. supports a "One China" policy that Beijing is the only recognized government of China while maintaining non-diplomatic relations with Taiwan and vowing to defend its right to self-governance.

In response to a Reuters question at a briefing March 29 about the Taiwan Navy chief's trip to the U.S., Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said China firmly opposes "military collusion between the U.S. and Taiwan."

He urged the U.S. to "immediately stop official interactions and military contact with Taiwan, and refrain from sending any wrong message to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces."

Tang said other countries' navies at the conference were also looking to partner up.

"Not only are the U.S. military, but also the navies of various countries here. In fact, regarding much of our current cooperation, you just heard them talk about many things, including manpower issues, shipbuilding issues, and demand and cooperation, so I think on these occasions, everyone is seeking opportunities for cooperation and integration," he said.

Tang, along with Rear Admiral Chung-Hsing Wei, defense attache with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., and the visiting Taiwan delegation attended meetings and speeches of naval leaders from the U.S. and other countries.

He also visited the booths of major U.S. military manufacturers at the exhibition, including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, and inquired about weapons and equipment with companies that have procurement projects with Taiwan.

This included General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which produced four MQ-9B "SkyGuardian" drones for Taipei.

A senior official from the company also told him that he will join a U.S. Taiwan Business Council delegation to visit Taiwan in early June.

Read original article here. 

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