The Biden administration last week approved two potential arms deals for Taiwan worth $440 million amid heightened tensions between the US and China.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA), one deal is for 30mm ammunition and related equipment and is worth $332.2 million. The other sale is worth $108 million and will “support the purchase of spare and repair parts for wheeled vehicles, weapons, and other related elements of program support.”
The State Department’s approval begins a period where Congress could block the potential deal, but there is widespread bipartisan support for arming Ukraine and virtually no opposition. The US has sold weapons to Taiwan since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, but the US has been boosting military support for the island in recent years.
The approval drew a rebuke from China, which opposes all US arms sales to Taiwan. “China is firmly opposed to US’s military ties with and arms sales to Taiwan. This position is consistent and unequivocal,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.
“The US should abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop selling arms to Taiwan, stop creating new factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and stop posing risks to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she added.