U.S. plans to sell Taiwan about $1.42 billion in arms


FILE PHOTO – A demonstrator holds flags of Taiwan and the United States in support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S., January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

By David Brunnstrom and Arshad Mohammed | WASHINGTON Thu Jun 29, 2017 | 8:58pm EDT

The United States plans to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion in arms, the first such sale under the administration of Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the president has been seeking to rein in North Korea.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales on Thursday.

“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” she said.

The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

Nauert said the sales showed U.S. “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” but there was no change to the United States’ long-standing “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.

The sale, which requires congressional approval, would be the first to Taiwan under Trump and the first since a $1.83 billion sale that former President Barack Obama announced in December 2015, to China’s dismay.

The previous package included two navy frigates in addition to anti-tank missiles and amphibious attack vehicles.

A State Department official said the latest package primarily represented “upgrades to existing defense capabilities aimed at converting current legacy systems from analog to digital.”

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the items would enhance its air and sea combat capability and early warning defenses.

“We will as soon as possible discuss with the United States the purchase, the duration, the amount and other details, and plan the follow-up budget,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It said Taiwan and the United States would continue to consolidate their security partnership to contribute to long-term stability in the region.

STRONG SUPPORT

In a strong sign of congressional support, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee welcomed what he called the “long-overdue” arms sale.

“Sales of defensive weapons, based on Taiwan’s needs, are a key provision of our commitments as laid out by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances,” said Rep. Ed Royce, referring to legislation and informal guidelines that steer U.S. relations with Taiwan.

U.S. officials said in March the administration was crafting a big arms sale to Taiwan, but such talk died down as Trump sought to persuade Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, an increasing threat to the United States.

Earlier on Thursday, China responded angrily and said it had protested to Washington after a U.S. Senate committee approved a bill calling for the resumption of port visits to Taiwan by the U.S. Navy for the first time since the United States adopted a one-China policy in 1979.

The bill also directs the Pentagon to help Taiwan develop an indigenous undersea warfare program and recommends strengthened strategic cooperation with Taipei.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the bill was in violation of the principles of U.S.-China relations and called on Washington to halt military drills with and arms sales to Taiwan “to avoid further impairing broadly cooperative China-U.S. relations.”

U.S. officials told Reuters this week that Trump – who alarmed Beijing after assuming office by breaking with decades of precedent and talking to Taiwan’s president – was becoming increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and trade.

According to the officials, Trump is now considering trade actions against Beijing, despite having heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping after an April summit.

Also on Thursday, Washington stepped up pressure on Beijing by imposing sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and accusing a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

China’s ambassador to Washington said the arms sales to Taiwan and sanctions against Chinese companies would hurt bilateral relations.

Ambassador Cui Tiankai, speaking to reporters at an embassy reception, said, “And all these actions, sanctions against Chinese companies and especially arms sales to Taiwan, will certainly undermine the mutual confidence between the two sides and runs counter to the spirit of the Mar-a-Lago summit.” Trump and President Xi Jinping met in Florida in April.

“We are against this kind of long-arm jurisdiction by the U.S. side,” Cui said.

Trump plans to meet Xi again on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany next week, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, David Brunnstrom and Yeganeh Torbati; Additional reporting by J.R. Wu in TAIPEI; Editing by Richard Chang, Jonathan Oatis and Paul Tait)

Source: Reuters “U.S. plans to sell Taiwan about $1.42 billion in arms”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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6 Comments on “U.S. plans to sell Taiwan about $1.42 billion in arms”

  1. steve says:

    Ultimately, the united scoundrels of america’s intention is to park its warships alongside Taiwan dock. The scoundrels want to help Taiwan military develop undersea warfare program.? Against who? Consolidate a security partnership with Taiwan to contribute long term regional stability.? Against who?. These are genocidal scoundrels, the US are masters of chaos and anarchy. The US are aware that its military cannot penetrate China’s A2/AD.

    The US had a dream card when the useless PH Aquino allowed US to set up military bases ultimately to challenge China’s SCS claims and control. Since President Duterte came to power the US dreamt card became a nightmare. US next dream card is to set up shop in Taiwan. Its like ambushing China from the inside. Half of the 1.42 billion $$ weapon sales procurement maybe outdated US junk, but China should not allow this kind of long arm US bandit jurisdiction happening on its doorsteps. There are no words to describe the shameful behaviour of Taiwan’s
    leadership – absolute fools.

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  2. Simon says:

    Trump regime imposes sanction on Chinese banks, companies and individuals they claim broke American sanction against North Korea. Likewise China should and and must impose sanction on American banks, companies and individuals who participate in arms sales to Taiwan that broke Chinese sanction against Taipei….

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    • steve says:

      Maybe too hasty. China has a list of Chinese banks in USA. US has a list of banks in China. The last thing we want is a bank sanction war. China only need to sell part of its US treasury bonds and the scoundrels will be having an earthquake.

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  3. Joseph says:

    With China’s current military strength, no weapon sale to Taiwan is enough to challenge China. But China obviously has to politically voice its dissatisfaction toward the back-stabbing American. However it is in the best interest of Taiwan to pick the best weapons worths their money as the American is offering the same worthless junks. Sure the American congress give their ‘strong’ supports. They are after all the weapon manufacturers. It is like ISIS giving the strong support for JI to do terrorizings in SE Asia. Interesting that they will ‘taylor’ the deal to meet Taiwan’s ‘overdue’ defense ‘requirements’ as Taiwan didn’t need any ‘overdue’ craps in those years Ma Yingjiu was in office. But let’s face it. The American needs money desperately. They are not really in the position to dictate terms. If Taiwan is wise, they will go to the best weapon choices at the lowest price. If they pay the American-demanded $1.42 billion for mere $1.42 million, why not? Or that $1.42 billion can get Taiwan a lot more than that proposed craps. Why should Taiwan settle for $1000 a piece Big Mac if they can pressure the American to sell their premium bison tongue for $1 each. It is business after all. Just because Tsai Ingwen is a brainless cow, it doesn’t necessarily the people of Taiwan are devoid of their brains as well.

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  4. Fre Okin says:

    Taiwan should just split into half, the north for KMT and the south for DPP people. This endless militarisation of Taiwan make fools of Taiwanese people in general while US continue to play off Taiwan vs China to give her excuse to hang around the neighborhood. Soon Taiwanese will have to park missiles in their parks, schools, under their bed. How silly!

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    • Anon says:

      And Washington complains about the “militarization” of Yongshu, Meiji and Zhubi islands in the Nansha Islands chain. How hypocritical can it get?

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