Biden administration proposes $750 million arms sale to Taiwan in a move likely to anger Beijing

The administration gave discover concerning the meant sale on Wednesday, in keeping with a State Department spokesperson, two congressional sources, and a notification from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The deal consists of 40 M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and associated tools.

“If concluded, this proposed sale will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s howitzer fleet, strengthening its self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats,” the spokesperson stated.

One of the congressional sources instructed CNN that Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez had already cleared the sale as a part of the casual assessment course of — a standard follow during which the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees get a heads-up on deliberate gross sales, permitting committee management to lift issues, give their enter or place holds.

This supply stated Menendez sees it “as yet another statement of the Biden administration’s serious intent to get strategy in the Indo-Pacific right, and its commitment to stand with our ally Taiwan.”

The United States has lengthy offered arms to the island below the phrases of the decades-old Taiwan Relations Act, and there’s bipartisan assist for supplying Taiwan with weapons. Last October, the Trump administration notified Congress of a proposed $1.8 billion in superior weapons programs gross sales to Taiwan, and the administration had beforehand accepted a number of main arms gross sales to Taiwan valued at greater than $13 billion, together with dozens of F-16 fighter jets, M1A2T Abrams tanks, moveable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes.

Beijing has lambasted 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 battle in 1949.

New pointers

In April, President Joe Biden dispatched an unofficial delegation to Taiwan in a present of assist for the island, in keeping with a senior administration official and a State Department spokesperson.

The State Department additionally introduced in April that the company had “issued new guidelines for U.S. government interaction with Taiwan counterparts to encourage U.S. government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship.”

At the time, State Department spokesman Ned Price stated, “The guidance underscores Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important security and economic partner that is also a force for good in the international community.

“These new pointers liberalize steerage on contacts with Taiwan, per our unofficial relations, and supply readability all through the Executive Branch on efficient implementation of our ‘one China’ coverage, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,” Price stated.

Shortly earlier than leaving workplace in January, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced the United States was lifting decades-old restrictions on interactions between American and Taiwanese officers.

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