Biden administration proposes $750 million arms sale to Taiwan

Biden administration proposes $750 million arms sale to Taiwan
Taiwan’s military M109 self-propelled Howitzers move during military exercises in Taiwan in 2019. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: The Biden administration has proposed a $750 million arms sale to Taiwan in a move likely to further inflame tensions with China. The White House already informed Congress about the proposed sale.

According to a State Department spokesperson, the administration gave notice about the intended arms sale on Wednesday. The deal includes 40 M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and related equipment.

The spokesperson said if the deal concluded, the weapons sale will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s howitzer fleet, strengthening its self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats.

CNN reported citing a congressional source that Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez had already cleared the sale as part of the informal review process.

The review process is a common practice in which the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees get a heads-up on planned sales, allowing committee leadership to place holds, raise concerns and give their input.

The US has long provided arms to Taiwan under the terms of the decades-old Taiwan Relations Act, and in the US, there is bipartisan support for supplying Taiwan with weapons.

The Trump administration notified Congress last October about a proposed $1.8 billion in advanced weapons systems sales to Taiwan, and the administration had previously approved several major arms sales to the island nation valued at more than $13 billion, including dozens of M1A2T Abrams tanks, portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, of F-16 fighter jets and MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes.

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