White House Advancing More Arms Sales to Taiwan

Trump administration notified Congress about five potential weapons sales to Taipei this week

According to a Reuters report, the White House is pushing through the sale of two more weapons systems to Taiwan, MQ-9 Reaper drones, and a coastal defensive missile system. Sources said the Trump administration notified Congress about the deal on Tuesday.

The news comes a day after reports said the White House notified Congress about the sale of three other weapons systems to Taipei. Sources told Reuters back in September that the administration was preparing a major arms sale to Taiwan that includes up to seven types of weapons systems.

“Taiwan has five weapon systems that are moving through the process,” a Taiwan government source told Reuters.

China denounced the potential arms sales and said the US should sever military ties with Taiwan. Since the US cut off diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, it has continued to sell weapons to the island to discourage mainland China from invading Taiwan, which Beijing sees as its own territory.

The news of the arms sales comes after US officials encouraged Taipei to spend more money on its military. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned China against an invasion of Taiwan and urged Taipei to increase its military budget at an event last week. A Pentagon official made a similar plea during the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference last week.

The Trump administration has taken other steps to increase ties with Taipei as part of its campaign against China. In September, the US and Taiwan announced a plan to partner on infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific and Latin America.

President Trump signed a bill into law in 2018 that paved the way for two recent high-level visits to Taiwan from US officials, breaking with decades of diplomatic norms.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.