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Taiwan tensions

U.S. in talks with Taiwan to coproduce American weapons: sources

New cooperation would expedite delivery to island as China steps up military pressure

A Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missile launches from a vessel during a military drill in May. The missile is developed by Taiwan and produced with U.S. technology. (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense via AP)

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration is considering a plan to jointly produce weapons with Taiwan, according to three people familiar with the plan. It aims to increase production capacity for U.S.-designed arms, speed their transfer and strengthen deterrence toward China.

"There has been a change in the approach from Beijing toward Taiwan in recent years," said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at an Oct. 17 event in California. "A fundamental decision [has been made] that the status quo was no longer acceptable, and that Beijing was determined to pursue reunification [with Taiwan] on a much faster timeline." Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to receive an unprecedented third term as leader at the Communist Party's 20th National Congress, which will continue until Oct. 22, and he may further ratchet up military pressure on Taiwan.

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