New Taiwan Arms Sale

Written by Camden Hanley – September 12, 2022

The US has approved a $1.1 billion arms package for Taiwan. The package includes 60 harpoon anti-ship missiles, 100 sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and logistics support for Taiwan’s Surveillance Radar program. The logistical support comprises the largest portion of the package at $665.4 million, with $355 million for the harpoon missiles and $85.6 million for the sidewinder missiles. This sale comes after the PRC conducted military exercises around Taiwan in response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.

The PRC has said it “firmly opposes” the sale and that it “severely jeopardizes US-China relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” The Chinese embassy spokesperson, Liu Pengyu, tweeted that the PRC will “resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures.” As the PRC has long claimed the island to be a part of its sovereign territory, it claims the US is meddling in its internal affairs. In response, the US State Department has stated that sales are in line with longstanding US policy of providing defensive weapons to the island which are essential to Taiwan’s security.

This sale also highlights the fact that Taiwan is still waiting on previously approved arms packages dating back to 2017. If Taiwan’s security is to be maintained, arms packages can not be delivered on such a delayed schedule. To remedy this problem, the Taiwan Policy Act has been created. It is still in the legislative process, but it is expected to provide $4.5 billion in military aid to Taiwan and declare Taiwan a major non-NATO ally. This would help expedite arms sales while not quite being a mutual defense pact.

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