USA vs. Kina: Er amerikanerne alligevel på vej til at sælge F-16 til Taiwan?

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Sikkerhedspolitik

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En rapport fra den amerikanske kongres viser, at Taiwan har brug for nye fly, hvis det skal kunne klare sig i en konflikt med Kina, skriver AP og her Reuters:

Many of Taiwan’s roughly 400 combat aircraft would not work in action due to age and maintenance problems, while protection of the island’s airfields little more than 160 km (100 miles) from China was a major issue, the U.S. government’s Defense Intelligence Agency said in the report, released in Taiwan.

“In recent years, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has increased the quantity and sophistication of its ballistic and cruise missiles and fighter aircraft opposite Taiwan, which has diminished Taiwan’s ability to deny PRC efforts to attain air superiority in a conflict,” it says.

Hvorfor kommer rapporten lige nu? USA har netop solgt for cirka 35 milliarder kroner militært isenkram som for eksempel Black Hawk helikoptere, missiler og kommandosystemer til Taiwan.

Det fik Kina til at komme med et vredt svar og de sædvanlige trusler. Men det var en noget afdæmpet reaktion. Som Wall Street Journal skriver her:

Current and former U.S. officials said part of the reason for the restrained reaction may be due to the administration’s decision to not include weapons that Beijing was most concerned about, including F-16 fighters and funds for diesel-powered submarines.

“They were fairly clear with us in the run-up as to what they considered to be their red lines,” the senior defense official said. The official added, however: “We made our decision based solely upon our assessment of Taiwan’s defense needs, not based upon any consideration of what China was telling us.”

Så er USA ved at skubbe den “røde linje” og er ved at forberede et salg af F-16 til Taiwan?

Det er nok ikke tilfældigt, at rapporten fra den amerikanske kongres bliver offentliggjort netop nu. Spørgsmålet er så, hvordan Kina vil reagere denne gang.

:: Foto fra militaryy.cn (ikke en stavefejl)

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Hurtige klik fra Kina af Kim Rathcke Jensen. Jeg er journalist og BA i kinesisk. Jeg bor i Beijing, hvor jeg arbejder som Politikens korrespondent i Kina og Asien.

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