US to increase military aid to Taiwan
Funding worth more than $1.1 billion has been pledged by the United States to Taiwan, according to Pentagon sources quoted by the press on Friday. The move will help the island bolster its missile and radar systems, a State Department spokesperson also said.
The announcement comes at a time of particular tension on Taiwan with Chinese military maneuvers near the island and after the controversial visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
The aid package is the largest ever given to the country which China considers a rogue province and includes 60 Harpoon-type missile systems and 100 AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles, as well as financial support for a system radar. However, the aid has yet to be approved by the US Congress, where Taiwan has support from both Democrats and Republicans, making the approval seem like a mere formality.
The same State Department spokesman said the military aid was necessary for Taiwan to “maintain its ability to defend itself” and recalled that since 2010 the US government has notified Congress of the delivery of more than $35 billion in military aid to Taiwan. . The same source also argued that the aid was in line with the “one China” principle that the only Chinese government recognized by the United States is the one based in Beijing.
The United States passed the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, in which it pledged to help the island, although it is unclear whether it would intervene in the event of a Chinese attack. The administration of US President Joseph Biden has never ruled out the use of force. China has considered Taiwan a rebel province since Kuomintang nationalists retreated there in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Communists on the mainland. Taipei also argues that the People’s Republic of China never ruled the island and has no right to claim it.
The new package was announced following China’s aggressive military exercises around Taiwan following a visit to the island last month by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, the top US official. to have been to Taipei for years.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese tycoon Robert Tsao, a microchip entrepreneur, announced he would spend $32 million to train and equip an army of 3.3 million “civilian warriors” to be ready in the event of a disaster. Chinese attack.
The founder of United Microelectronics Corp made the announcement after the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense announced that it had shot down a Chinese drone over Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands. Tsao, 75, said the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) threat to Taiwan was growing.
“If we can successfully resist China’s ambitions, not only can we safeguard our motherland, but we will make a great contribution to the world situation and the development of civilization,” Tsao said.
A former active supporter of Taiwan’s unification with China after the Taiwanese government ordered an investigation into his company, Tsao told Radio Free Asia he changed his mind after witnessing the crackdown on the pro-Taiwan movement. -Hong Kong democracy, especially the Yuen Long MTR attack. .
“Given the Chinese Communist Party’s record of atrocities against its own people and its brutal domination over those who, like the Uyghurs, are not even Chinese, the CCP’s threats have only fueled the Taiwanese people. a bitter hatred against this threatening enemy and a shared determination to resist,” he stressed.