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Washington, Aug. 4 (CNA) The United States has tentatively agreed to furnish Taiwan with early warning radar to upgrade its self-defense capabilities, US officials said on Wednesday.

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Stanley Roth and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Kurt Campbell mentioned the possible arms deal with Taiwan for the first time at a Senate hearing on a Taiwan Security Enhancement Bill.

Both Roth and Campbell opposed the enhancement bill. But they confirmed that the Clinton administration thinks that Taiwan needs to acquire appropriate early warning radar to enhance its self-defense capabilities.

Campbell said relevant US agencies are conducting internal technical reviews and discussing with Taipei the most suitable early warning radar system for Taiwan.

Campbell said a final decision on the model or specifications will be made during next year's Taipei-Washington military meeting.

Campbell said the United States has so far never exported early warning radar to any other country.

Given its proximity to the Chinese mainland and Beijing's mounting military threat, Taiwan does badly need early warning radar to beef up its defense capabilities.

(By Jay Chen and Sofia Wu)

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