June 16, 2024

The United States agrees to an arms deal with Taiwan

Updated on 02/03/2023 13:52

  • The US government agreed to an arms deal with Taiwan.
  • Among other things, several hundred missiles will be sold to the island republic.
  • China criticized the decision. The arms shipments will undermine “China-U.S. relations.”

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The US government approved a $619 million arms deal with Taiwan. These are several hundred missiles that can be used to equip F-16 fighter jets, for example, as well as launch and control systems and other equipment, according to the Washington Department of Defense.

“The proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s (Taiwan’s) ability to defend its airspace and territorial security, as well as the possibility of joint action with the United States.” The decision sparked protests in China.

The United States has long been supplying arms to Taiwan because it has been committed to the island’s democratic republic’s ability to defend itself: the Taiwan Relations Act has been in effect since 1979, which regulates, among other things, arms deliveries to Taiwan. A spokesperson for the US State Department confirmed According to CNNThe arms deal is “in line with the Taiwan Relations Act and the long-standing one-China policy,” according to which the “US will provide Taiwan with defense equipment and services that enable it to maintain an adequate self-defense capability.”

US Arms Shipments: China Is Furious, Thank You Taiwan

This greatly angers the Chinese leadership. China considers Taiwan part of the People’s Republic of China and threatens to occupy it. The island republic, with a population of 23 million, has long considered itself independent and was never part of the communist People’s Republic established in 1949. China has been increasing pressure on the island for months with maneuvers and the deployment of warships and military aircraft in the immediate vicinity of Taiwan.

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The Chinese leadership now also protested against the existing plans. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in Beijing that the arms shipments “undermine Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” China calls on the United States to stop arms sales and military contacts with Taiwan.

In turn, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense thanked the delivery scheduled from the United States on Thursday. The national air force will help defend the airspace against Chinese aircraft. The agreement comes amid rising tensions and an increased deployment of Chinese naval and air forces near Taiwan. More than thirty Chinese aircraft entered the Taiwan Air Control Zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.

Sanctions against US arms companies

In mid-February, China slapped sanctions and fines on US defense contractors Lockheed Martin Corporation and Raytheon Missile and Defense for supplying weapons to Taiwan.

As announced by the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, imports into China and investments are prohibited. Senior personnel are not allowed to enter. The work permit will be cancelled. Fines twice the business size were also imposed for the two companies’ arms deals with Taiwan. (dpa / tass)

Sources used:

  • German news agency (dpa)
  • Cnn.com: The Biden Administration Approves Possible Sale of F-16 Missiles to Taiwan