Taiwan Gets Arms Sale, China Freaks Out
Taiwan Gets Arms Sale, China Freaks Out
Taiwan is about to be able to get over a billion dollars’ worth of arms from the United States, which seems like the least the Biden administration can do after frantically flip-flopping on Taiwan repeatedly. But naturally, China is furious about this impending deal.
This should be a big deal, a huge signal to the world that we are standing with Taiwan. After all, just this week, Taiwan started shooting at Chinese drones that have been reportedly “buzzing” the island nation. They apparently shot one down just a few days ago.
For the first time, Taiwan’s military shot down an unidentified civilian drone that entered its airspace near an islet near China’s Xiamen city on Thursday, after the government vowed tough measures against a rise in intrusions.”
China responded that Taiwan was trying to “hype up tensions” over the incident, which follows the island’s complaints of harassment regarding drones from China flying close to the Kinmen islands, as Beijing stages military drills around Taiwan.”
Su told reporters that Taiwan had repeatedly issued warnings and asked China “not to encroach on our doorstep”.
The drone was shot down after entering restricted air space near the tiny Lion islet, and crashed into the sea, according to Taiwan’s military.”
Notice that China is not denying that the “civilian” drone came from them.
At least two videos of recent drone trips have circulated widely on Chinese social media, including one in which Taiwanese soldiers were seen throwing stones at the craft.”
Su said these videos were made for China’s “propaganda at home”, adding to the anger of Taiwan’s people.”
And conveniently, that drone footage is now available for the Chinese military to study. It’s a small sacrifice to lose a drone or two, especially if they keep getting aerial footage of the lay of the land in Taiwan. It’s clear that China is getting antsy, and after seeing the weakness in the Biden administration over Afghanistan, and the current quagmire in Ukraine, they don’t want to wait much longer to seize Taiwan for themselves. This arms sale is going to make that a lot harder. It turns out that $1.1 billion can buy a whole lot of things.
The administration on Friday formally notified Congress of the proposed sales, which include up to 60 anti-ship missiles and up to 100 air-to-air missiles.”
Laura Rosenberger, the White House Senior Director for China and Taiwan, said this is the largest arms sale to Taiwan to date under the Biden administration, and they have “been in direct consultation and conversations with Members of Congress and Taiwan on its defense needs given evolving security circumstances.”
“This package was in the works for some time precisely because we expected it would be needed as the PRC increased pressure on Taiwan,” she said, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China. “It reflects the U.S. government’s assessment of Taiwan’s defense needs and the threat posed to it by the PRC.”
Rosenberger noted that the proposed arms sale package “includes critical asymmetric defensive capabilities prioritized by Taiwan, including Harpoon missiles to support Taiwan’s coastal defense; AIM-9X missiles to support Taiwan’s air defense, and support for Taiwan’s surveillance radar program central to Taiwan’s C4ISR.”
“As the PRC continues to increase pressure on Taiwan — including through heightened military air and maritime presence around Taiwan — and engages in attempts to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, we’re providing Taiwan with what it needs to maintain its self-defense capabilities,” she said in a statement to CNN.”
A State Department spokesperson said the sales were in line with the United States’ policy on Taiwan, noting the longstanding history of the US providing defensive weapons to the island.”
The “swift provision” of such arms, they said, “is essential for Taiwan’s security and we will continue to work with industry to support that goal.”
Now, the way the State Department is wording this, it does seem like this is an actual sale of military arms, and not just an aid package giveaway along the lines of what Ukraine has been getting. It would be better for everyone involved if it was an actual sale, because the United States is not exactly made of money, and goodness knows we have given quite a lot in military aid to Ukraine with no strings attatched. If Taiwan pays for what they want, then we don’t need those strings. You buy it, you can do whatever you want with it.
And China knows that, which is why they want this deal canceled.
China, calling Taiwan an ‘inalienable’ part of its territory, said the United States to should ‘immediately revoke’ the arms sales.”
‘It sends wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,’ said Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington.”
‘China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation,’ he said.”
Um, I would say that this sends exactly the right signals to Taiwan, because they ARE an independent nation, no matter what Chinese propaganda says. Now, Congress still has to approve the sale, but given the bipartisan groups that keep visiting Taiwan, that’s likely to happen.
We need to be paying attention to China’s intended predations on Taiwan, and we need to take their aggression seriously. The time to arm Taiwan to the teeth is NOW, before China can make a move. If we had spent half the money that we’ve given Ukraine on arming them before Russia invaded, the whole world would have been better off. Let’s hope everyone learned that lesson, and that this arms sale is proof of our commitment to keeping Taiwan independent of Communist China.
Welcome Instapundit Readers!