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US to Reportedly Fast-Track $500 Mln Arms for Taiwan

Taiwanese F-16V at the airfieldInternationalIndiaAfricaUS President Joe Biden was authorized by Congress last year to use $1 billion for bolstering Taiwan in line with the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, amid the oft-replicated narrative of an ostensible China “threat.” However, there have been reports of a serious backlog in delivering weapons to the island.Washington, which has been pumping Taiwan with modern weapons to repel a Chinese “invasion,” reportedly intends to speed up the process even more, readying another military package for the island worth $500 million. Moreover, to expedite the delivery, it intends to resort to the Presidential Drawdown Authority, sources were cited as saying.This will ostensibly be the first time that the US wields this emergency authority in relation to military aid for Taiwan. The Biden administration has been enthusiastically relying on this foreign policy tool to send military assistance to the Kiev regime.The Presidential Drawdown Authority allows for quick delivery of “defense articles and services from Department of Defense stocks to foreign countries and international organizations to respond to unforeseen emergencies,” as per the US State Department’s website. In fact, such shipments can be made within a matter of days, even hours, of approval.The report did not specify what kind of equipment would be in the weapons package.The attempt to evade the usually protracted process of arms contracting and production comes as US lawmakers have been raising a hue and cry over a backlog in already approved armaments meant for Taiwan reportedly worth $19 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis have been blamed for the delays.MilitaryTaiwan Mitigating Consequences of Modern F-16V Jets Delivery Delay4 May, 17:04 GMT

‘China Threat’ Yarn

The US has been vehemently ramping up military aid to Taiwan, justifying the move by spinning the yarn of a China invasion “threat.” Taiwan has been governed independently since 1949, when Taipei severed all ties with Beijing following the Chinese Civil War. Beijing views the island as a breakaway province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country, but stops short of declaring independence. Chinese officials have repeatedly announced their aspiration to ensure a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland under the so-called “One Country, Two Systems” model – which would allow the island to preserve elements of its existing political, legal, and economic systems while remaining in China’s jurisdiction. However, Beijing has also warned that any attempts by foreign-backed separatists to declare independence could trigger a military solution to the issue. Accordingly, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has extended numerous warnings to Washington policymakers against militarizing Taiwan and fuelling separatist sentiment on the island. In total disregard of the warnings, the United States recently ramped up its informal diplomatic ties with Taipei in violation of commitments made to China when diplomatic relations were restored in 1979. Recently, Beijing slapped sanctions on US Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, for visiting Taiwan, as he led a bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers there, violating the One China principle, thus “sending a wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces.” In August 2022, McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi also stirred up a row by traveling to Taipei to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.AsiaChina Sanctions US Congressman for Visiting Taiwan13 April, 16:17 GMTAs for military aid, Washington has approved more than $20 billion in sales of equipment to Taiwan since 2019, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Sidewinder missiles for warplanes, hundreds of Javelin anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air Stinger missiles, howitzers, and other munitions.Late in 2022, US President Joe Biden signed into law a defense bill which included $10 billion in military aid for Taiwan, with the legislation also authorizing building a “regional contingency stockpile” for the island that includes up to $100 million worth of munitions. In March, the US State Department approved a deal worth $619 million to sell hundreds of missiles to Taiwan to arm 66 F-16V fighter jets. The island is slated to receive them by the end of 2026.On March 28, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the Pentagon would use a $1 billion authorization to quickly transfer weapons to Taiwan via the Presidential Drawdown Authority. “My team is working diligently to make sure that we have the right capabilities in that particular drawdown,” Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March. He had added that to replace the delivered military equipment, “we’ll need the appropriations as well.” China-Taiwan tensions have been exacerbated by the US repeatedly sending warships and surveillance planes to the Taiwan Strait. Beijing has slammed such missions as provocations and portrayed Washington as “a security risk creator in the region.”China has repeatedly warned Washington policymakers against militarizing Taiwan and fuelling separatist sentiment on the island, which is seen by Beijing as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic.WorldUS Speed-Up of Arms Supplies to Taiwan Prior to Island’s 2024 Elections Sends Ominous Signal12 April, 14:57 GMT



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