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Fri. May 17th, 2024

Taiwan’s incoming president, Lai Ching-te, has endorsed a recent US military aid package, highlighting its importance in deterring authoritarianism in the Asia-Pacific region. Lai’s comments come as China increases its political and military pressure on the self-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own.

In a meeting with a US delegation on Tuesday, Lai emphasized that the multi-billion-dollar aid package will bolster Taiwan’s defenses against China’s increasing aggression. China has not ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, a stance that has caused concern in Taiwan and among its allies. Lai’s support for the package reflects Taipei’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its military and political ties with the United States, Taiwan’s primary weapons supplier.

The US House of Representatives approved a major defense package on Saturday, allocating $8 billion to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region. An additional $1.9 billion will be used to replenish Taiwan’s military equipment and training, while $2 billion is designated for foreign military financing in the region, including support for Taiwan’s defense initiatives.

Lai, who will assume the presidency on May 20, stated that the US military aid would not only boost deterrence against authoritarianism in the West Pacific but also reinforce the confidence of democratic nations in the Indo-Pacific region. This move, he said, is a testament to Washington’s commitment to safeguarding free and democratic values in the region.

The US delegation, led by Republican Lisa McClain and Democrat Dan Kildee, is in Taiwan to discuss regional security issues with Taipei officials. During their meeting, McClain underscored the

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