During a recent visit to Taipei, Taiwan, US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Arkansas Representative French Hill reportedly held talks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen about the potential use of Elon Musk’s Starlink to help Taiwan.
McCaul and Hill had described the discussion as one of the “constructive takeaways” from their meeting with Tsai. During their talks, the group reportedly discussed the possibility of using Starlink to bolster Taiwan’s deterrence capabilities against China, Bloomberg News reported.
“Communist China is very good at what we call intelligence surveillance reconnaissance. They have great eyes on — they can see everything in the Pacific. In some cases, better than we can in this area. Taiwan has none of that,” McCaul stated.
Hill, for his part, noted that Taiwan would benefit from the use of Starlink’s satellite internet due to vulnerabilities in its undersea cables. The official, however, stated that Taiwan would likely have to make a national security exception for the company to operate, the publication stated.
Taiwan’s Presidential Office has not issued a comment about Starlink specifically, though it confirmed that the US lawmakers had met with Taiwanese leaders from various industries. These included the semiconductor and aerospace technology industry. The lawmakers, however, have not stated if they had discussed the idea of using Starlink to help Taiwan with Musk or SpaceX.
Starlink’s value in politically contested areas has been proven in Ukraine, though it also resulted in Musk receiving harsh words from Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin.
Starlink currently provides high-speed internet access to multiple countries across the globe, despite being only in its initial stages. The satellite internet service has also expanded its lineup of services to include Starlink for boats and Starlink for airplanes.
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