Biden administration signs off on $425M in arms sales to Taiwan
The Biden administration has approved two separate arms sales to Taiwan worth more than $425 million as China has stepped up its threats and aggression toward the island.
The State Department said the sales are for spare aircraft parts to support Taiwan’s F-16 fighters, C-130 transport planes and other weapons systems that the United States has supplied. The total is made up of $330 million in standard replacement parts and $98 million in non-standard equipment and related accessories and logistics.
President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month at the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, their first face-to-face meeting during Biden’s presidency. Biden said at a press conference ahead of the meeting that he planned to press Xi on China’s behavior toward Taiwan and U.S. commitments to the island’s defense.
China considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory awaiting reunification and has repeatedly threatened to attack Taiwan in recent months. It conducted a series of military drills near the island in August following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to the self-governing island.
The Chinese government has argued that arms sales to Taiwan violate the U.S. “One China” policy. Under the policy, the U.S. recognizes the People’s Republic of China’s view on Taiwan but pursues “strategic ambiguity” with respect to the island, considering its status to be unsettled.
The Taiwan Relations Act requires the U.S. to sell arms to Taiwan for its own defense but does not commit the country to defending the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.
“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the State Department said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.