A line of US Patton tanks fire at targets during the annual Han Kuang exercises on Taiwan’s outlying Penghu Island in May. US presidents dating back to Jimmy Carter in 1979 have sold arms to Taiwan despite Beijing’s objections but would Donald Trump risk his friendship with Xi Jinping by doing so? Photo: AP

What’s behind Donald Trump’s arms sales pitch in Asia?

B. Z. Khasru says the American president can fulfil his campaign promises to reduce trade deficits and US overcommitment by selling weapons to Asia, but the rise in military spending, nationalism and tensions do not bode well for regional stability

Topic |   Donald Trump

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A line of US Patton tanks fire at targets during the annual Han Kuang exercises on Taiwan’s outlying Penghu Island in May. US presidents dating back to Jimmy Carter in 1979 have sold arms to Taiwan despite Beijing’s objections but would Donald Trump risk his friendship with Xi Jinping by doing so? Photo: AP
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