Biden Approves First-Ever Taiwan Arms Transfer


The package totals USD 80 million and will be paid for by US taxpayers….reports Asian Lite News

The Biden administration has approved funding for the first-ever transfer of US military equipment to Taiwan, as per a notification sent to the Congress, CNN reported.

The package, which is part of the State Department’s foreign military financing (FMF) program, totals USD 80 million and will be paid for by US taxpayers.

The department, in its notification to the Congress, wrote: “FMF will be used to strengthen Taiwan’s self-defence capabilities through joint and combined defence capability and enhanced maritime domain awareness and maritime security capability.”

The transfer was confirmed by a State Department spokesperson.

“Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our longstanding one-China policy, which has not changed, the United States makes available to Taiwan defence articles and services necessary to enable it to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability,” the spokesperson informed CNN through a statement.

“The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is critical to regional and global security and prosperity,” he said.

According to CNN, the newest development in continued US support for Taiwan is likely to anger China, which claims the self-governing island as its own.

The US has in the past sold weapons to Taiwan through a separate program called Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The FMF program will provide grant assistance, paid for by US taxpayers, to Taiwan in order to make those purchases.

According to the letter sent to the Congress, the sale could span a wide range of capabilities, including air and coastal defence systems, ballistic missile defence, cyber defence, drones, military training, individual soldier protective gear, and ammunition. It is likely to take months or years for the military support to actually get to Taiwan because the equipment will be folded into future equipment buys by the Pentagon, CNN reported.

Under the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act passed last year, the US is authorized to spend up to USD 2 billion annually in military grant assistance to the island from 2023 to 2027.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul welcomed the approval.

McCaul said in a statement, “I am glad the administration is further implementing our bipartisan Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act by finally providing FMF to Taiwan. These weapons will not only help Taiwan and protect other democracies in the region but also strengthen the US deterrence posture and ensure our national security from an increasingly aggressive CCP.” (ANI)

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