The US just approved the largest arms sale to Taiwan during President Joe Biden’s tenure. On December 28th, the United States State Department announced that the Biden administration had approved a potential arms sale to Taiwan, worth approximately $180 million, due to ongoing tensions between Taiwan and Beijing.
The administration informed Congress of its approval of the potential sale of vehicle-launched anti-tank munition-laying systems and related equipment to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, which serves as Taiwan’s diplomatic outpost. This announcement was made by the State Department.
According to a statement from the State Department, the proposed sale of these arms serves the national, economic, and security interests of the United States by supporting Taiwan’s efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defense capability.
The proposed sale is expected to improve the security of Taiwan and contribute to the maintenance of political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.
The United States has a longstanding policy of providing arms to Taiwan through the Taiwan Relations Act, and there is broad support for this among both political parties in the United States.
However, this latest arms sale is likely to elicit a strong response from Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be an integral part of China.
In September, the administration approved a significant arms sale to Taiwan, worth more than $1.1 billion, which included up to 60 anti-ship missiles and up to 100 air-to-air missiles. This was the largest arms sale to Taiwan during President Joe Biden’s tenure.
The previous arms sale to Taiwan occurred shortly after tensions between the United States and China were exacerbated by a visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August.
In August 2021, the administration proposed a $750 million arms sale to Taiwan, which included 40 M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and related equipment.
The approval of this latest arms sale to Taiwan follows President Biden signing into law a comprehensive new defense bill last week, which included the establishment of a defense modernization program for Taiwan to deter potential aggression from China.