By Tyler Durden
A month after China’s unprecedented live-fire drills in direct response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, the Biden administration is set to increase its arms sales to Taiwan with figures that indicate the scale of aid to Ukraine.
“The Biden administration plans to formally ask Congress for approval an estimated $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan that includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missilesaccording to three sources with direct knowledge of the package.” Politically reported.
The soon-to-be-proposed package is said to be in its early stages, but it is expected to be signed by both the White House and bipartisan leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The new urgency to send more advanced weapons to Taiwan, which the US will no doubt emphasize defensive in nature, is being driven by fears that Beijing has only shortened its timeline for Taiwan reunification, even after the Month of August in which no fewer than four separate delegations from Congress visited.
Corresponding Politically, the $1 billion weapons package is said to include “60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles for $355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical air-to-air missiles for $85.6 million and $655.4 million for a surveillance radar contract extension, the people said. The Sidewinder missiles will arm Taipei’s US-made F-16 fighter jets.”
The Biden administration has already reviewed three major packages of arms sales to Taiwan, continuing a trend of increased arms sales that Trump started.
China continues to send warplanes into the self-governing island’s airspace and maintains a sustained presence in the Taiwan Strait, even after the US Navy sent two warships through the Strait on Sunday for the first time since Pelosi’s trip.
“Troops of the (Eastern) Theater Command are on high alert and ready to thwart any provocation anytime,” a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in response to the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville traversing the contested waters.
On the Taiwan issue, the US President is behaving like the general sales manager of a large arms dealer. pic.twitter.com/C5toIrxhUw
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 30, 2022
But the 7th Fleet claimed: “These ships (pass) through a corridor in the straits that lies beyond the territorial sea of a coastal state. The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US military flies, sails and operates wherever international law permits,” the official statement said.
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