Defenseless Taiwan?

Taiwan has just commissioned its second and last pair of former U.S. Kidd-class destroyers, significantly boosting its naval surface power and improving its ability to repulse a Chinese amphibious assault. But according to Defense News, they likely represent the island nation's last major arms purchase for some time:

The commissioning comes as the United States, the islands main arms supplier, increases pressure on parliament, in which the opposition has a slim majority, to pass a scaled down budget to buy more U.S. weapons. The budget has been bogged down in parliament for two years by opposition lawmakers who say the package, which would include eight diesel submarines, is too expensive and provocative.
20050826-china-russia.jpgIn the 1980s and early '90s, Taiwan pulled way ahead of rival China in defense technology, especially in regards to aircraft and missiles. Taiwan even fielded its own light fighter design, the Ching-Kuo, and armed it with locally-built air-to-air missiles.But as pro-Chinese politicians have gained power in Taiwan, defense modernization has faltered. Proposed purchases of submarines, Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion patrol planes and Patriot missiles have fallen by the wayside. Meanwhile, China has accelerated its own modernization with weapons designed for long-range operations and amphibious assaults ... as well as with massive numbers of ballistic missiles.Taiwan is banking on some sort of peaceful reconciliation with China, while China quietly prepares to "reconcile" by force.--David Axe
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