The U.S. on Friday announced $345 million in military aid for Taiwan, in what is the Biden administration’s first major package drawing on America’s own stockpiles to help Taiwan counter China.
The White House’s announcement said the package would include defense, education and training for the Taiwanese. Washington will send man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, intelligence and surveillance capabilities, firearms and missiles, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters ahead of the announcement.
U.S. lawmakers have been pressuring the Pentagon and White House to speed weapons to Taiwan. The goals are to help it counter China and to deter China from considering attacking, by providing Taipei enough weaponry that it would make the price of invasion too high.
While Chinese diplomats protested the move, Taiwan’s trade office in Washington said the U.S. decision to pull arms and other materiel from its stores provided “an important tool to support Taiwan’s self-defense.” In a statement, it pledged to work with the United States to maintain “peace, stability and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”
Source: AP News