New arms deal between Taipei and Washington

The State Department defended its decision to approve a potential arms sale to Taiwan worth more than $100 million on July 18 after China asked the United States to cancel the deal.

The Biden government has granted Taipei the supply of $108 million worth of tanks and other combat vehicle equipment, as well as logistical support. This agreement angered China, which, according to Chinese media, demanded the cancellation of the order.

However, State Department spokesman Ned Price defended the preliminary agreement, reiterating that the United States has “obligations” under US law to provide Taiwan with the military items it needs to defend itself.

“Under the Taiwan Relations Act, we are making available to Taiwan the necessary defense items and services to enable Taiwan to maintain adequate self-defense capability. This is something successive governments have done. It’s very much in line with our One-China policy.” said Ned Price.

The sale is currently under consideration by Congress, but it is almost certain that it will pass Congress without opposition.

US relations with Taiwan have long been governed by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. This law obliges the United States to provide Taipei with the resources it needs to defend itself against a potential attack, but it does not explicitly oblige the United States to intervene militarily if Taiwan is invaded by China.

In May 2022, President Joe Biden explicitly said the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, but the comments were quickly ignored by his officials.

Read also : The United States will militarily defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion

In addition, the Democratic and Republican heads of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee simultaneously passed legislation proposing a major overhaul of US policy toward Taiwan.

The legislation, introduced by Senators Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham, would provide Taiwan about $4.5 billion in security assistance over the next four years and designate Taiwan as a non-NATO ally. Taiwan is already treated as such under US law, but the label has practically not been enforced.

The law would further add additional US support for Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations and trade blocs.

CHINA URGES TO STOP SALE OF WEAPONS TO TAIWAN

China has urged the United States to immediately cease arms sales to Taiwan and faithfully implement its declaration of non-support to Taiwan “Taiwan Independence”.

In response to Ned Price’s statement, State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated China’s strong opposition to the new US arms sales plan to Taiwan. “We have made strong protests to the American side. »

The latter indicated that the “Taiwan Relations Act is a national law unilaterally concocted by the United States.” For Zhao Lijian, she infringes “seriously the universally recognized international rights and fundamental standards of international relations”. He added that it violates the One-China principle and the terms of the three Sino-US joint communiqués. “China has never recognized such a law and has always been against it.”

“The United States has absolutely no right to brandish such a law to interfere in China’s internal affairs and sell weapons to Taiwan”the Chinese diplomacy spokesman added.

The United States’ insistence on the sale of arms to Taiwan has seriously violated the One-China principle, and the terms of the three Sino-US joint communiqués have encouraged secession forces to “Taiwan Independence” and tensions escalated in the Taiwan Strait, Zhao Lijian said.

“The United States must immediately stop selling weapons to Taiwan and maintain military contacts with the island, stop creating tensions in the Taiwan Strait and faithfully declare non-support for “Taiwan independence” of their government”the spokesperson added.

TAIPEI THANKS WASHINGTON FOR APPROVING A 4TH ARMS SALE

For its part, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it appreciated the United States government’s commitment to strengthening Taiwan’s defense capabilities in accordance with the TRA and the Six Securities.

The United States said on July 15 that it had authorized a new arms sale to Taiwan worth $108 million. This announcement was welcomed in Taipei the next day by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This is the fourth arms sale to Taiwan approved by the Biden administration this year, and the fifth since the US president’s inauguration in January 2021., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on the government’s website. The sale concerns spare and repair parts for tanks and combat vehicles, as well as the associated technical and logistical support.

According to the ministry, “This sale underscores the United States Government’s commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances. It also strengthens the ability of the armed forces of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to defend the people and the free and democratic way of life of the country.”

“Taiwan thanks the United States for its rock-solid support,” continues the ministry, . The government will continue to deepen cooperation with like-minded partners around the world to promote peace, prosperity, stability and rule-based order in the Taiwan Strait and the region. The TRA is the US law that has regulated relations between Taipei and Washington since 1979 for lack of diplomatic recognition, the ministry said.

The Six Assurances were given in 1982 in Taiwan by President Ronald Reagan. They urge Washington not to set a date for the cessation of arms supplies to Taiwan, not to consult Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan, not to play the role of mediator between Taipei and Beijing, to follow the terms of the TRA not to revise its position on the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty and not to put pressure on Taipei to open negotiations with Beijing.

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