Defense Secretary Mark Esper promotes the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, urging allies in the Indo-Pacific region to arm themselves against the military danger posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Esper warned that China is on the way to being the dominant military power of Asia in 2049, the centenary of its communist revolution, in a speech given in Hawaii on August 27, according to the Washington Examiner.
“This will undoubtedly embolden the PLA’s (Peoples Liberation Army’s) provocative behavior in the South and East China Seas and anywhere else the Chinese government (CCP) has deemed critical to its interests,” Esper emphasized.
Esper called on U.S. allies in the region to invest more in defense and rely less on the resources offered by the CCP.
He said, “I continue to encourage all like-minded partners to carefully consider their choices regarding telecommunications infrastructure and assess the long-term, collective risks of using Chinese state-backed vendors,” according to the Washington Examiner.
He also mentioned the type of U.S. military supplies sold to allies through Foreign Military Sales for values exceeding $160 billion, including F-35 aircraft to Japan, Seahawk, and Apache helicopters to India, and F-16 fighter planes and M1 Abrams tanks to Taiwan.
Espers’ statement is further evidence of growing friction with the CCP, which is advancing the conquest of territory in the East and South China Seas, disturbing the neighboring countries’ sovereignty.
“Our robust network of allies and partners remains the enduring asymmetric advantage we have over near-peer rivals, namely China, that attempt to undermine and subvert the rules-based order to advance their own interests, often at the expense of others,” Esper said according to the South China Morning Post.
For its part, Taiwan will invest a record amount in defense in the face of invasion threats by the CCP.
Their announced budget is $15.4 billion that will allow the acquisition of various defense systems. This significant expenditure requires legislative approval, according to the South China Morning Post, on August 13.
According to a virtual speech by President Tsai Ing-wen, delivered through the Washington-based Hudson Institute on August 12, Taiwan also seeks a “constructive security relationship” with the United States