The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency announced on Wednesday that the U.S. State Department has permission for an arms deal with Taiwan, providing equipment and training to support its Patriot air defence systems. Pentagon officials have stated that the total value of the deal could amount to $95 million, which would be a healthy injection into their economy.
In a statement to the U.S. Congress, the Pentagon stated that “this proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.”
U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency explained that the deal would help Taiwan “sustain its missile density and ensure readiness for air operations,” as well as deterring any “regional threats.” Comments made by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry indicate that they expect the deal will “become effective” within a month.
However, statements from U.S. officials indicate otherwise currently as the negotiations on the deal had come to an end, without the contract being signed. If finalised the U.S. aerospace and defence corporation, Raytheon, would be the primary contractor for the deal.
This is the third announced U.S. arms sale to Taiwan since Joe Biden took office. The timing of this deal comes as tensions in the Pacific region continue to rise, as the U.S. and its regional allies fear Beijing may take action to reunify Taiwan with mainland China.
At this stage, Beijing has stated that peaceful reunification is a preferable choice for China, but would use force if necessary.
Admiral Samuel Paparo of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet warned on Wednesday that “the window of a potential unification by force” is “highly unpredictable.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has taken the opportunity to threaten Beijing on Wednesday over the latest arms deal with the U.S., stating that “in the face of China’s continuing military expansion and provocation, Taiwan must fully demonstrate its strong determination to defend itself.”
Taiwan has never formally declared its independence from mainland China, only after a civil war in 1949 was the Republic of China (ROC) established. Since then the population on the island has skyrocketed, currently, it sits at 25 million people.
Post 1979 the U.S. recognised Beijing as the only legitimate authority in China, yet Washington maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan and is one of their major arms suppliers.