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US Approves Military Aid to Taiwan Under Foreign Financing Program

    US Approves Military Aid to Taiwan Under Foreign Financing Program
    Last updated Sep 01, 2023
    Image credit: Unsplash

    Facts

    • The White House has approved funding for the first-ever transfer of US military equipment to Taiwan under the US Dept. of State's Foreign Military Financing program — a process usually reserved for providing grant assistance to sovereign countries.
    • Congress was notified Wednesday of the $80M aid — which could include drones, ballistic missile and cyber defenses, air and coastal defense systems, and advanced communications equipment.
    • According to the State Department, the military aid intends to enable Taiwan "to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability" and is "consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and the US' longstanding 'one China' policy, which has not changed."
    • The PRC's foreign ministry criticized the move, calling it a violation of the "one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiques," adding, "China deplores and firmly opposes it."
    • This comes after the US military is reportedly in talks to develop a civilian port in the Philippine Batanes islands, less than 200 km (125 miles) from Taiwan, in the Bashi Channel — a key waterway in the case of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
    • Meanwhile, during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, US Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) warned that "any hostile, unprovoked attack on Taiwan will result in a resolute reaction from the United States."

    Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    This military aid is crucial for Taiwan as China takes an increasingly aggressive stance toward the self-ruled island. Any conflict in the region would gravely weaken the US position and allow the PRC to take one step further towards global hegemony, which is why Washington must speed up the delivery of weapons to help the island defend itself.

    Pro-China narrative

    Though the US doesn't officially recognize Taiwan, Washington wants to transfer military equipment just to weaken the one-China principle it claims to acknowledge. Under the pretense of providing self-defense, America is using the island to create more volatility in the Asia-Pacific and provoke military conflict in the Taiwan Straits to try to thwart China's development.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 60% chance that the US will respond with military force if China invades Taiwan before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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