U.S. Confirms $345 Million Aid Package For Taiwan
OAN’s Roy Francis
10:08 AM – Saturday, July 29, 2023
The Biden administration announced $345 million in military aid for Taiwan, marking the first major package which is meant to help the island nation counter China.
The White House said that the package will include defense education and training for Taiwanese forces. According to two anonymous officials, the package will include man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), intelligence and surveillance capabilities, firearms and missiles, all being pulled from the United States’ own stockpile.
Although the White House did not provide specific details about the weapons systems, a former Department of Defense official, who has knowledge of the package and spoke under anonymity, said that the package will at least include MQ-9 Reaper drones, and small arms ammunition.
Although the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with the island nation, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council said that the administration takes the “responsibilities to Taiwan … very, very seriously.”
“We take our responsibilities to Taiwan and to improving their self-defense capabilities very, very seriously,” Kirby said on Friday ahead of the announcement of the package.
The Pentagon has been under pressure to send aid to Taiwan with the goal to help deter China by making the price of an invasion too high.
Chinese diplomats protested the move by the Biden administration, however, Taiwan’s representative in the U.S. said that the willingness to provide Taipei with arms is important in supporting Taiwan’s self-defense.
In a statement, Taipei said that they will work with the Biden administration in order to maintain “peace, stability, and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”
The $345 million is in addition to the nearly $19 billion in military sales that the administration has already approved for Taiwan. The sales include F-16s, and other major weapons systems.
However, the delivery was delayed due to logistics issues that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier in July, top U.S. generals said that the United States and its allies need to expedite weapons deliveries to Taiwan in the future in order for the nation to be able to defend itself against China.
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