US Announces $345 Million Military Aid for Taiwan

Military Aid for Taiwan

The Biden administration has announced a significant military aid package of $345 million for Taiwan, marking the first major use of America’s own stockpiles to help the island counter China. The package will include defence, education, and training support for Taiwan’s security and deterrence efforts.

Aiding Taiwan’s Defense Efforts

The aid package includes a range of military equipment, such as man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), intelligence and surveillance capabilities, firearms, and missiles. The US lawmakers have been pushing for the swift delivery of weapons to Taiwan to strengthen its defences against potential Chinese aggression.

Counterbalancing China’s Threat

The primary goals of this aid are to help Taiwan counter China’s military assertiveness and deter China from considering an invasion by increasing the cost of such aggression.

Chinese Reaction

Chinese diplomats have protested the US move, viewing it as a threat to China’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan. However, Taiwan’s trade office in Washington welcomed the aid, expressing gratitude for the US commitment to its security.

Presidential Authority for Swift Delivery

Unlike previous military sales that faced supply chain issues, this aid comes from US military stockpiles, approved by Congress last year. This ensures faster delivery of weapons to Taiwan without waiting for new production and sales.

US Policy on Taiwan

While the US maintains a “One China” policy and does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent country, it is bound by law to provide credible defence support to the island and treat threats to Taiwan with grave concern.

Learning from Ukraine’s Example

The US is applying the lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of providing weapons to Taiwan before any potential conflict. Supplying weapons after an attack would be complicated due to Taiwan’s island geography.

China’s Intimidation Tactics

China regularly sends warships and planes into the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s air defence identification zone to intimidate the island and weaken its military capabilities.

China’s Opposition to US-Taiwan Ties

China firmly opposes US military ties with Taiwan and demands an end to arms sales to the island, citing potential tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

The announced military aid package is expected to bolster Taiwan’s defence capabilities and reaffirm the US commitment to the island’s security amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions in the region.

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