Western powers, allied with NATO, have extended the presence of F-35 fighters in various parts of the world, from Europe to the Pacific, including countries like Japan. However, it is surprising that Taiwan still needs to obtain approval to purchase these fifth-generation aircraft.
The advantage of air superiority
Taiwan, along with Singapore, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, could greatly benefit from the air superiority that F-35 fighters provide. This capability would be crucial to countering the military threat posed by China and its modern Navy, arsenal of ballistic missiles, and ground forces.
Although China has the J-20 fighter and is developing the J-31 for its aircraft carriers, its ability to harness fifth-generation air power and challenge the United States and its allies remains questionable. While Taiwan is within range of the Chinese J-20s, it is unlikely that China will be able to provide enough air superiority to carry out a successful amphibious assault on the island.
existing air superiority
On the other hand, the United States and its allies in Southeast Asia already have enough F-35 fighters and other fifth-generation jets to surpass China in the air arena.
Japan recently acquired a fleet of F-35s, Korea is already a partner in the F-35 program, and the US Navy has a significant presence in the Pacific. This combination of forces provides a strategic advantage in the event of a conflict.
The risk of provocation
Despite the obvious reasons for providing F-35 fighters to Taiwan, there are fears that China will see this action as provocative. Sending it could increase the possibility of conflict or even bring other countries closer to a dangerous situation. However, not sending the F-35s to Taiwan could be considered a disengagement since the Pentagon already supplies other types of weaponry to the island.
A necessary deterrent
While there are associated risks, sending F-35 fighters to Taiwan is considered a credible deterrent. The mere presence of these planes could make China think twice about attacking Taiwan, as its air force and amphibious capability would have to go up against an F-35-backed Taiwanese force.
In short, Taiwan is in a strategic position and faces a growing threat from China. Despite the clear advantages that the F-35 fighters would provide, their shipment raises concerns about