Washington angered Beijing after news of a new arms deal with Taiwan

Published in:

The United States announced on Friday a new round of arms sales to Taiwan, worth 1.1 billion dollars, even as tensions are at an all-time high with China, which considers the island part of its territory. . In response, Beijing threatened Washington with “adversaries”.

The United States announced on Friday, September 2, the sale of 1.1 billion dollars of weapons to Taiwan, where China, which considers the island part of its territory, immediately asked them to stop, threatening to do ” opponents”.

This new arms sale comes a month after a visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, which sparked anger in Beijing. China then launched the most significant military maneuvers in its history around the island.

The US government approved the sale to Taipei for $355 million of 60 Harpoon missiles capable of sinking warships, 100 Sidewinder short-range missiles ($85.6 million), capable of intercepting missiles or drones, and $665 million contract to maintain Taiwan’s radar system, the State Department said in a statement.

>> “Quarantine, remote strikes, invasion: China’s scenarios against Taiwan”

These transactions “serve the economic and national security interests of the United States by supporting (Taiwan’s) efforts to modernize its armed forces”, outlined American diplomacy through a spokesperson.

This is the largest US arms sale for Taiwan since Joe Biden took over as president in January 2021.

The announcement comes a day after Taiwanese forces downed an unidentified commercial drone, part of a sudden series of raids that have caused confusion on the island following a previous show of force by Beijing, which said fired ballistic missiles at the capital Taipei.

Beijing then demanded that Washington reject these transactions, declaring itself “strongly opposed”, through the voice of the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu.

China called on the US to “immediately revoke” the arms sale to Taiwan, “so that it does not affect relations with the United States, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, the spokesperson added in a press release .

“China is determined to take legitimate and necessary countermeasures given the situation,” he said.

Since 2010, the United States has notified Congress of more than $35 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, said a spokeswoman for the State Department, which approves those deals.

To be implemented, these sales must receive the approval of Congress, which is almost certain, military support for Taiwan which enjoys broad support among elected officials on both sides.

“Strategic Confusion”

These arms sales are “critical to Taiwan’s security and we will continue to work with the defense industry to support this goal,” the State Department spokesman added.

“We call on Beijing to end its military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan and instead engage in a dialogue” with Taipei, the spokesman also said. “The United States continues to support a peaceful resolution of the matter in accordance with the wishes and interests of the Taiwanese people.”

>> Also read: “On Taiwan, ‘the higher China’s military capacity, the greater the risk of invasion'”

For Taipei’s part, “this arms sale will not only help our soldiers fight pressure in the gray area, it will also strengthen the island’s early warning capabilities against long-range ballistics. missiles,” said Chang Tun-han, spokesman for the Taiwanese presidency, in a statement of thanks.

Before the controversial visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, America’s number three and the highest US official to visit the island in decades, Joe Biden’s colleagues quietly argued with China that it would not represent the administration policy, Congress is a separate branch of. government.

The green light for the arms sale, on the other hand, clearly comes from the Biden administration, although it is in line with the policy applied since 1979, when Washington recognized Beijing while agreeing to maintain the self-defense capacity of the Taiwan.

On a trip to Tokyo in May, Joe Biden appeared to break with decades of US policy by saying the US would directly defend Taiwan if attacked, but his aides later backed down to maintain the concept.

China considers Taiwan, with a population of around 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it has not successfully reunified with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949). In seven decades, the communist army has never been able to conquer the island, which remains under the control of the Republic of China – the regime that once ruled mainland China and now only rules Taiwan.

With AFP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.