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US Approves First Arms Transfer to Taiwan Under the Programme for Sovereign States

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Photo: US Approves First Arms Transfer to Taiwan Under the Programme for Sovereign States. Source: ROC Army`s Facebook
Photo: US Approves First Arms Transfer to Taiwan Under the Programme for Sovereign States. Source: ROC Army`s Facebook

The administration of US President Joe Biden has approved $80 million in military assistance to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme. This is the first time that the US has provided military assistance to Taiwan under the programme, which is usually used for sovereign states, CNN reports.



A US State Department spokesperson confirmed this information but stressed that this does not mean a change in the one-China policy.



"Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our long-standing one-China policy, which has not changed, the United States provides defence goods and services to Taiwan to enable it to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability. The United States has a continuing interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is critical to regional and global security and prosperity," the State Department spokesman said.



The Chinese side reacted sharply to the news, calling on the United States to stop strengthening US-Taiwanese military ties and arming Taiwan.


The United States has already sold arms to Taiwan, but under a separate Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.



According to the law passed last year, the US government is authorised to spend up to two billion dollars annually on military grant aid to Taiwan from 2023 to 2027.



Earlier in August, the US presidential administration asked Congress to fund arms for Taiwan as part of a supplemental budget request.



According to a letter sent to Congress, the sale could cover a wide range of capabilities, including air and coastal defence systems, ballistic missile defence, cyber defence, drones, military training, personal protective equipment for soldiers and ammunition. It is likely that it will take months or years for the military support to actually reach Taiwan, as the equipment will be included in future Pentagon procurements.



Under the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act passed last year, the US government is authorised to spend up to $2 billion annually on military grant aid to the island between 2023 and 2027.



Taiwan, which has a democratic system, considers itself a separate state, while China and the vast majority of the world recognise it as part of Chinese territory. China is very unhappy with visits by foreign officials to the island.

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