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Asia's Game of Thrones
U.S. and Taiwan Plan $1.83 Billion Arms Deal

The United States plans to sell Taiwan two warships, according to the AFP:

“Today, the administration notified Congress of a $1.83 billion defensive arms sale package for Taiwan,” David McKeeby, a State Department spokesman said, adding that the package included two frigates.

China watchers should keep an eye on this and similar stories. With elections around the corner, Taiwan is poised to elect a more nationalist government. Taiwenese pro-independence candidate Tsai Ing-wen visited Tokyo in October, drawing condemnation from the Beijing. It was a notable expression of goodwill towards Taiwan’s old colonial ruler, and suggests stormier times could be ahead for the tense Taipei–Beijing relationship.

Taiwan is a critical American ally as the U.S. seeks to balance China’s power in the Pacific, and the deepening ties between Taiwan and the U.S., as well as between Taiwan and Japan, are more signs that China’s behavior is pushing other nations closer together.

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