In a recent announcement, President Joe Biden confirmed that the United States will be providing Taiwan with up to $345 million worth of weapons, ammunition, and services. The exact details of the aid package have not been made public, but it has been reported that it includes the delivery of Reaper drones.
The decision to authorize this aid package was made by President Biden in a memo sent to the State Department, which is responsible for administering such assistance under the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. The package will be drawn from the existing military stocks of the United States. While the White House and the Pentagon have not disclosed all the items included in the package, a former Pentagon official has indicated that it will likely include small-arms ammunition and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
This move comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin informed Congress in May that a presidential drawdown package was being planned for Taiwan. In addition to this, US lawmakers have already allocated $1 billion for military aid to Taiwan for the current fiscal year.
It is important to note that neither the White House nor the Pentagon have provided a detailed breakdown of the aid package, but it is expected to further enhance the defensive capabilities of Taiwan. This is significant in light of China’s assertive stance, as Beijing considers Taiwan to be its sovereign territory under its one-China policy. Taiwan, on the other hand, has been governed independently since 1949, when its government fled the mainland with the assistance of the United States after losing the civil war to the Communist Party.
Although the US officially recognized Taiwan as the “Republic of China” until 1979 when diplomatic relations were established with Beijing, it continues to maintain a close relationship with Taiwan. This includes providing the island with weapons and equipment, as well as committing to its defense in the event of an invasion from the mainland.
China has expressed its discontent with the US decision to provide military aid to Taiwan, perceiving it as a threat to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. This issue continues to strain relations between the two superpowers, as Taiwan remains a contentious and sensitive topic in the US-China bilateral relationship.
In conclusion, the United States’ decision to supply Taiwan with up to $345 million worth of weapons, ammunition, and services underscores its commitment to the defense of the island nation. As tensions in the region persist, this aid package will undoubtedly bolster Taiwan’s defense capabilities and serve as a reminder of the ongoing geopolitical dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region.