Chinese criticism of arms sale is a misstatement: Tsai

  • 23 August, 2019
  • Leslie Liao
Tsai answering reporters' questions

President Tsai Ing-wen says that she thinks the Chinese government misspoke when criticizing an upcoming Taiwanese purchase of weapons from the US. Tsai was responding to critical comments made by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.

US president Donald Trump recently approved an arms package for Taiwan which includes 66 F-16V fighter jets. Tsai says that Taiwan, like any country, has the right to defend itself. She said that upgrading Taiwan’s defense capabilities is a reasonable move.

“I think China misspoke. We are improving our defenses in order to ensure our free and democratic way of life. This is completely within the realm of reasonability. I hope China will realize this and be a good neighbor to Taiwan,”Tsai said.

The US has also come out in support of the sale. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Shriver says that as the threat of China grows, Taiwan will need the arms package to maintain its airspace.

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