Washington (BLAZETRENDS).- The White House has announced a historic military aid package for Taiwan worth 345 million dollars (313 million euros at today’s exchange rate), in the midst of tension between the US and China.
The US government released this Friday a memorandum signed by President Joe Biden and addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, authorizing the shipment to the island of military equipment from the Pentagon inventory.
The text does not specify the components that will make up this military assistance package, although a congressional employee familiar with the aid revealed to The Hill that it contains intelligence and surveillance capabilities, firearms, missiles, and portable anti-aircraft defense systems, known as MANPADS.
According to US media, for the first time the US country will send aid of this type to Taiwan from the Department of Defense inventory, instead of doing so through the US program of military sales abroad.
It is a mechanism similar to that used by the US to allocate security aid to Ukraine, which is proving fast and effective.
Main arms supplier
In its 2023 budget, the US Congress authorized the shipment of up to $1 billion in arms to Taiwan through this same procedure.
Asked by journalists before the announcement of the package, one of the White House spokesmen, John Kirby, assured this Friday that the US takes its responsibilities towards Taiwan “very, very seriously” and the improvement of its “capabilities defense”.
“Nothing has changed about that and we will continue to look at ways to do it,” he remarked.
Taiwan is one of the main sources of tension between the United States and China, since the North American country is Taipei’s main arms supplier, something that Beijing has repeatedly protested.
In mid-July, the island’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng revealed that Taiwan is buying the NASAMS 2 anti-aircraft missile system from the US.
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a territory it considers a “rebel province” since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the war against the communist army.