The State Department cleared the way to sell $108 million worth tank parts and other military equipment to Taipei
US President Joe Biden’s administration has green-lighted a new arms sale to Taiwan, including armored vehicle parts and technical assistance, potentially ratcheting up tensions with China over the breakaway republic.
The US State Department approved the transaction, which is valued at up to $108 million, at Taiwan’s request, the Pentagon revealed on Friday. The US government will provide technical support and logistics services to its contractors and the blanket order will cover parts for tanks and combat vehicles.
“We express sincere gratitude to the State Department for giving clearance for the order,” Taiwan’s defense ministry said. According to the defense ministry, the deal was based on the federal law that required Washington to aid Taipei. “Six Assurances”The principles under which the US committed to making arms sales to Taiwan, without consultation with China. These principles include a commitment not to recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan, and to stop pressuring Taipei to enter into negotiations with Beijing.
The latest arms deal will enhance the Taiwanese military’s interoperability with American forces and other allies, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “The proposed sale will contribute to the sustainment of the recipient’s vehicles, small arms, combat weapon systems, and logistical support items, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,”According to the agency.
Officials from Taiwan have warned about an “expanding military threat”China has opened the door to a reunification through force. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province and part of China’s sovereign territory.
“We can’t leave Taiwan independent,”Lu Shaye, Chinese Ambassador to France, said this last month in an interview. “We’ll retake Taiwan by all means, including military ones. If we can’t reunify the country by peaceful means, what else are we left to do?”He said that the US had also stirred tensions about Taiwan like they did over Ukraine.
The US seems to have made Taiwan and Ukraine competing priorities. The Pentagon had delayed the delivery of $750million in howitzers systems for three years. This was in addition to rising weapon shipments to Kiev.
Taiwan has been urged by the US to upgrade its defenses since before World War II. “porcupine”China may find the island more difficult to swallow. However, reacting to the latest arms sale on Friday, US-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers argued that Biden’s administration apparently no longer sees force modernization as a priority.
The US has frozen Taiwan by its contractors with weapons
China’s military “will naturally focus on these emerging vulnerabilities as they adapt to the shortcomings of US policy,” Hammond-Chambers said. “The US-Taiwan Business Council again calls on the Biden administration to provide strategic clarity on where US forces will fill gaps in Taiwan’s defense.”