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Rumsfeld urges Taiwan to make known defence needs

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Former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, seen here in March 2011. / AFP

Former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld insisted on Tuesday that further United States arms sales to Taiwan were needed as China continued with its ambitious military modernisation plans.

Rumsfeld, who considers himself “a longtime friend of Taiwan”, urged the island to keep seeking weapons from the US, and said it should not be upset by Washington refusing to sell it advanced fighters.

In a speech organised by a non-profit think tank in Taipei, Rumsfeld said: “As Taiwan identified further requirements and those needs are assessed as legitimate and reasonable in light of China’s military posture, Taiwan has the responsibility to continue to make known its requests for responsible consideration.

“In turn, the United States has the responsibility to give such requests fair, prompt and reasonable attention. Taiwan deserves no less from a fellow democracy.”

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