Biden Administration Announces $1.1 Billion Arms Sale To Taiwan
WASHINGTON - After a full month of straight Chinese incursions around the island of Taiwan following the visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on August 2nd, 2022, the Biden administration has announced a $1.1 Billion arms sale to Taipei, angering China.
The sale will reportedly need to be signed off by the House Foreign Affairs Committee first, however before it will be finalized. Politico says that the sale is likely to be approved.
Politico, and AP News have both reported that "The Biden administration plans to formally ask Congress to approve an estimated $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan that includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the package".
Politico reports that the package is still in an "early stage" and includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles valued at $355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical air-to-air missiles valued at $85.6 million, and $655.4 million sale of a surveillance radar.
The AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles will be loaded onto Taiwan's F-16 fighter jets, manufactured in the United States.
Laura Rosenberger, who is a White House senior director for both Taiwan and China stated, "As the PRC continues to increase pressure on Taiwan — including through heightened military air and maritime presence around Taiwan — and engages in attempts to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, we’re providing Taiwan with what it needs to maintain its self-defense capabilities".
A State Department spokesman, who reportedly spoke to NBC News said, "These proposed sales are routine cases to support Taiwan’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability".
Taiwan said that they were grateful for the package, and said that China's "provocative" activities lately are a severe threat and that the sale would strengthen the country's defenses in the midst of growing military pressure by China.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said, "demonstrates that it will help our country strengthen its overall defense capabilities and jointly maintain the security and peace of the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region".
On August 25th, Taiwan proposed a $19 billion defense budget for the coming year, which, according to Reuters is a "double-digit increase" for 2022, and includes new fighter jets, and "special funds" for Taiwan's defense ministry.
Taiwan's statistics department minister Chu Tzer-ming said, "We always give safety and national security the top priority ... that's why (the budget for) operational costs rise greatly."
Chu indicated that some of the funds would be covering fuel expenses and maintenance for vessels and military aircraft that are deployed in order to counter the now regular Chinese military activity around the island.
Taiwan's defense ministry put out a statement that said full consideration went into the "enemy threat" when considering the budget, and that it equaled about 2.4% of Taiwan's predicted GDP for 2023.
The statement released by Taiwan's defense ministry said, "In the face of the Chinese communists' continuous expansion of targeted military activities in recent years and the normalized use of warships and military aircraft to raid and disturb Taiwan's surrounding seas and airspace, the military adheres to the principle of preparing for war without seeking war and defending national security with strength".
On September 1st, Taiwan's military Shot Down an unidentified unmanned "civilian drone" near Kinmen, Taiwan.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency released the following Statement regarding the potential sale:
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States – Contract Logistics Support for Surveillance Radar Program (SRP)
"WASHINGTON, September 2, 2022 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States of Contract Logistics Support for the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $665.4 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) has requested to buy follow-on Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP); program management; minor modifications and upgrades; spares and repair/return parts; publications and technical documentation; and U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, studies, and surveys, as well as other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost is $665.4 million.
This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. law and policy as expressed in Public Law 96-8.
This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.
The proposed sale will improve the recipient’s capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring the continued operability of its Surveillance Radar Program (SRP), which provides improved situational awareness and threat warning capabilities critical to regional security. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing these services into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Raytheon Technologies, Andover, MA. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of U.S. contractors to recipients in support of the technical refresh actions during the sustainment contract. The number of contractors and duration of the assignment will be determined during contract negotiations. It is anticipated that this sale will not require the assignment of additional U.S. Government representatives.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. The actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.
All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, [email protected]"
Taiwan's Ministry of Defense put out a statement responding to the potential sale, saying "@StateDept approved #FMSs, CLS for the SRP, AIM-9X & AGM-84L-1 missiles which are in the procedure of notifying. We appreciate the US provides us with the means to enhance our ability to meet current and future threats in accordance with #TaiwanRelationsAct and #[email protected]".
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington stated, "“China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation."
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