The study, obtained by the New York Times, warns that Taiwan needs to modernize its naval defenses and recommends giving the island nation Aegis-equipped destroyers along with other weapons systems such as the U.S. Army's advanced Patriot anti-missile system and submarines, all of which China insists are offensive weapons.
Taiwan needs new subs, the document asserts, noting that the Taiwanese navy currently has just four, including two World War II-vintage submarines, which are used only for training and which cannot go more than 150 feet below the surface.
Red China has been adamantly opposed to the U.S. supplying new arms systems to Taiwan, especially the highly sophisticated Aegis radar defense system, which Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen threatened could touch off a war in the Taiwan Straits if it is supplied to the island by the United States.
This month President Bush is expected to decide whether the U.S. should allow Taiwan to buy the Aegis and the other arms systems it wants. The spy plane incident could influence his decision or be used as a bargaining chip to obtain release of the plane's crew.
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