WASHINGTON: The Joe Biden administration plans to ask the United States Congress to approve an estimated US$1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, Politico reported on Monday (Aug 29), citing sources, amid heightened tensions with China.
China carried out its largest war games around the democratically governed island after a visit this month by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing has not ruled out using force to bring the island under its control.
China on Monday dismissed complaints from Taiwan about repeated harassment by Chinese drones very close to Taiwanese-controlled islands as not anything “to make a fuss about”, prompting Taipei to label Beijing as thieves.
President Joe Biden’s administration and US lawmakers stress their ongoing support for the government in Taipei, and there are items in the approval pipeline for Taiwan that could be announced in the coming weeks or months, Reuters reported last week.
But the focus will be on sustaining Taiwan’s current military systems and fulfilling existing orders – rather than offering new capabilities more likely to inflame already red-hot tensions with China, according to three sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Politico report.