The US is getting ready to promote seven packages of weapons programs to Taiwan, a congressional aide informed CNN, saying it was unclear when the Congress can be formally notified in regards to the gross sales, as is required by legislation.
A US official mentioned that the administration will quickly formally approve a big sale of MQ-9B Reaper drones. The worth of the drones and related tools and program help is estimated to be about $600 million.
“As a matter of coverage we don’t touch upon or affirm proposed protection gross sales or transfers till they’ve been formally notified to Congress,” a State Division spokesperson mentioned.
The Pentagon declined to touch upon the proposed sale.
Washington has lengthy supplied arms to the island below the phrases of the 40-year-old Taiwan Relations Act.
Beijing has steadily chafed at these gross sales, calling them a violation of China’s sovereignty. The nation’s Communist authorities views Taiwan as a part of its territory, although the 2 have been ruled individually because the finish of a bloody civil struggle in 1949.
However there was a rise in arms gross sales to Taiwan in the course of the Trump administration because the US has grown nearer to the nation.
The Trump administration has beforehand authorised a number of main arms gross sales to Taiwan valued at greater than $13 billion in whole, together with dozens of F-16 fighter jets, M1A2T Abrams tanks, moveable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes.
“I wish to thank the US authorities for supporting the enhancement of Taiwan’s self protection capabilities. prior to now 4 years the Trump administration has authorised seven arms gross sales bundle to Taiwan totaling $13.2 billion, trying forward we’ll additional develop and bolster indigenous protection and asymmetrical warfare capabilities,” Taiwan’s International Minister International Minister Joseph Wu mentioned Tuesday throughout a digital deal with to the World Taiwan Institute Annual Symposium in Washington.
“Confronted with the Chinese language communist regime, Taiwan is on the frontlines defending democracies,” Wu added.
One other excessive profile US go to
There have additionally been a number of excessive profile diplomatic visits by members of the Trump administration to Taipei, together with by the Secretary of Well being and Human Providers Alex Azar, the very best rating cupboard official to go to the island in many years.
On Wednesday the State Division introduced that the Underneath Secretary of State for Financial Progress, Power, and the Surroundings Keith Krach will journey to Taiwan to attend the memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday.
Krach would be the highest rating State Division official to go to Taiwan in years.
China’s chief, President Xi Jinping, has been mentioned he goals to “reunify” the island with the mainland, and has refused to rule out using pressure, although the ruling Chinese language Communist Get together has by no means truly managed Taiwan.
Taiwanese officers have accused China of ramping up army exercise close to Taiwan in an effort to place stress on Taipei, together with flying Chinese language fighter jets throughout the unofficial boundary dividing the Taiwan strait throughout Azar’s go to to Taipei.
Taiwan is ramping up its protection spending as a part of an effort to counter the risk from Beijing.
In 2019 Taiwan’s protection finances was $10.9 billion in comparison with an official Chinese language protection finances of $174 billion.
The US has lengthy sought to get Taiwan to spend money on programs that would offer it an uneven benefit over an invading Chinese language pressure versus extra standard programs like battle tanks that may be extra simply focused in an preliminary offensive salvo.
And whereas the Trump administration has pushed to spice up arms gross sales to Taiwan it’s unclear whether or not that coverage would proceed ought to former Vice President Joe Biden win the election in November.
The Obama administration additionally offered arms to Taiwan however resisted promoting some programs, together with upgraded F-16 fighter jets, a sale that the Trump administration went on to approve.