POLITICS

US defense contractors want deeper cooperation with Taiwan

May 2, 2023, 10:27 PM

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder delivers a speech during the Taiwan-U.S. Defense I...

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder delivers a speech during the Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Forum at the Taipei International Convention Center in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A delegation of United States defense contractors and a former senior leader of the U.S. Marine Corps pledged the beginning of deeper cooperation with Taiwan on Wednesday.

Taiwan has faced increasing pressure from China in the years since Tsai Ing-wen was elected president. China, which claims the island as its territory, has sent military planes and ships toward the island on a near-daily basis. It also held large-scale drills modeling a blockade and simulated strikes on important targets on the island twice within the past year.

Speaking at a public forum in Taiwan’s capital Taipei, retired Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder said the U.S. wants to be part of the defense capabilities of Taiwan and improve the supply chain resilience of the island. He also emphasized how critical the island’s position is for security.

“For the Asia-Pacific, I would offer there’s not another more important area in the world to maintain peace,” Rudder said Wednesday morning at the Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Forum. “So (when) you hear ‘a free and open Indo-Pacific,’ this is a small part of ensuring that shared vision remains intact.”

“We want to be part of the self-defense capabilities of Taiwan,” he said.

Rudder, who was in charge of Marines operations in the Pacific, said the visit was within the U.S.’ multiple agreements with China and laws related to Taiwan, such as the Taiwan Relations Act, which requires Washington to ensure Taiwan can defend itself. The legislation was enacted decades ago when the U.S. administration first recognized China and broke off official diplomatic relations with Taipei.

The event was co-hosted by a trade group from the U.S. and another from Taiwan as the public-facing portion of the defense contractors’ visit.

Although it’s unclear whether the groups will sign specific deals, local media reported that the United States was looking at cooperation in production of certain products. Part of that cooperation would be ensuring both sides can work together to use the weapons systems Taiwan bought alongside the island’s existing self-produced defense capabilities. Washington is Taipei’s largest unofficial partner and the supplier of a vast majority of Taiwan’s defense purchases.

“I’ll say it very simply: The endgame is joint interoperability,” Rudder said.

A group of about 20 activists protested outside. “American warmongers are a scourge on Taiwan,” read one of the banners.

“They sell all sorts of outdated ammunition to Taiwan and make tens of billions of U.S. dollars from Taiwan every year,” said David T. Chien, vice-chair of the Blue Sky Action Alliance, which supports unification with China.

Between 6 a.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, 27 Chinese warplanes and a drone flew toward Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. The drone encircled the island, according to a flight map from the defense ministry, while seven navy vessels sailed the waters close by.

___

Find more of AP’s Asia-Pacific coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

Politics

Associated Press

US will ‘gradually’ resume avocado inspections in conflictive Mexican state, ambassador says

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. government inspections of avocados and mangoes in the Mexican state of Michoacan will “gradually” resume, U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar announced Friday, a week after they were suspended over an assault on inspectors. The U.S. Agriculture Department inspectors “will gradually begin to return to the packing plants following recent aggression against […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Ex-CEO of Nevada-based health care company Ontrak convicted of $12.5 million insider trading scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former CEO and chairman of Ontrak, a publicly traded health care company based in Nevada, was found guilty Friday of a multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme. A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Terren Scott Peizer, a resident of Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California, of one count of securities fraud […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Mitch Landrieu, national co-chair of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign; Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.; former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien; former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell. […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Inmate asks court to block second nitrogen execution in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawyers for an Alabama inmate on Friday asked a judge to block the nation’s second scheduled execution using nitrogen gas, arguing the first was a “horrific scene” that violates the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Alan Eugene Miller, who survived a 2022 lethal injection attempt, is scheduled to be executed […]

17 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge dismisses charges in Nevada fake electors case over venue question, attorney general to appeal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada state court judge dismissed a criminal indictment Friday against six Republicans accused of submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election, potentially killing the case with a ruling that state prosecutors chose the wrong venue to file the case. Nevada Attorney […]

17 hours ago

Associated Press

Millions baking across the US as heat prolongs misery with little relief expected

A relentless heat wave continued to bake most of the United States on Friday, with numerous areas expected to see record-breaking temperatures and forecasters warning there would likely be little relief through the weekend for most areas. The steamiest conditions on Friday were expected in parts of Ohio and Indiana, where heat indexes were likely […]

19 hours ago

US defense contractors want deeper cooperation with Taiwan