U.S. sounds Taiwan alert; Sale of ATACMS would counter China’s war moves

FPI / October 1, 2020


By Richard Fisher

On Sept. 27, Bill Gertz, writing for The Washington Times, reported on his interview with United States National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, who used the occasion to issue the highest-level U.S. warning of potential Chinese aggression against Taiwan.

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is reportedly part of a $7 billion arms sale from the U.S. to Taiwan. / Pentagon / Public Domain

At first O’Brien lamented, “The swift termination of the democratic experiment that was Hong Kong without any sense of shame was something that took the world and some of us by surprise…So, the next place they would look and the place they talk about incessantly is Taiwan.”

On Sept. 19 and 20, Chinese fighter jets crossed the “mid-line” of the Taiwan Strait about 40 times, and along with a series of air and naval exercises North and South of Taiwan that included the firing of four anti-ship ballistic missiles on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 27, the Global Times stated that aerial reconnaissance on the East and West sides of Taiwan were to prepare for “real combat.” Previously, on Sept. 24, the Global Times threatened that a return of U.S. forces to Taiwan would “trigger reunification by force operation.”

The most interesting new weapon reportedly being sold to Taiwan is the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which can fire short 90km range but precision guided artillery rockets, or the 300 to 400km range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missile (SRBM).

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