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US says Taiwan defense spending to rise with China threat

TAIPEI, Taiwan — America’s top representative in Taiwan says Washington expects the island to continue increasing its defense spending as security threats to the U.S. ally continue to grow.

W. Brent Christensen said in a speech Thursday that Washington had “not only observed Taiwan’s enthusiasm to pursue necessary platforms to ensure its self-defense, but also its evolving tenacity to develop its own indigenous defense industry.” That was a nod to President Tsai Ing-wen’s drive to develop domestic training jets, submarines and other weapons technology, supplementing arms bought from the U.S.

Christensen is the director of the American Institute in Taiwan, which has served as the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan since formal diplomatic relations were cut in 1979.

Beijing considers Taiwan Chinese territory and has increased its threats to attack the island.

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