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Taiwan's Tsai confirms request to buy new US fighters, tanks

Taiwans Tsai confirms request to buy new US fighters, tanks

Beijing:  Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says her government has asked to purchase new fighter jets and tanks from the US.

If approved, the purchase could set off new tensions between the US and China, which considers Taiwan its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Speaking during a visit to Hawaii on Wednesday, Tsai said requests have been submitted for F-16V fighters and M1 tanks.

She said the addition of the new weaponry would "greatly enhance our land and air capabilities, strengthen military morale, and show to the world the US commitment to Taiwan's defence." The US is Taiwan's main supplier of defensive weapons, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.

Tsai's unofficial Hawaii visit comes at the end of a trip to three of Taiwan's Pacific Island allies.

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