Trump administration confirms Taiwan arms-sale plan

al jazeera

State Department confirms plan for the sale which will be the first since the $1.83bn sale under Obama in December 2015.

The US is legally obligated to sell weapons to Taiwan for its self-defence [Reuters]

The United States plans to sell Taiwan $1.42bn in arms, the first such sale under the administration of President Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the president has been seeking to rein in North Korea.

The sale, which requires congressional approval, would be the first to Taiwan under Trump and the first since a $1.83bn sale that former President Barack Obama announced in December 2015, to China’s dismay.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday that the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales.

Lawmakers, which are generally strongly supportive of such sales, have 30 days to object. The US is legally obligated to sell weapons to Taiwan for its self-defence.

“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” said Nauert before adding that the approvals did not violate the Taiwan Relations Act that governs US contacts with the island.

“It shows, we believe, our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense policy. There’s no change, I should point out, to our ‘one-China policy’.”

The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

In a strong sign of congressional support, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee welcomed what he called the “long-overdue” arms sale.

“Sales of defensive weapons, based on Taiwan’s needs, are a key provision of our commitments as laid out by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances,” said Ed Royce, referring to legislation and informal guidelines that steer US relations with Taiwan.

The previous package, under Obama, included two Navy frigates in addition to anti-tank missiles and amphibious attack vehicles.

In March, US officials said the administration was crafting a big arms sale to Taiwan. But such talk died down as Trump sought to persuade Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, an increasing threat to the US.

Earlier on Thursday, China responded angrily and said it had protested to Washington after a US Senate committee approved a bill calling for the resumption of port visits to Taiwan by the US Navy for the first time since the US adopted a one-China policy in 1979.

US officials told Reuters news agency this week that Trump – who alarmed Beijing after assuming office by breaking with decades of precedent and talking to Taiwan’s president – was becoming increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and trade.

Trump plans to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany next week, US National Security Adviser HR McMaster told reporters.

Source: News agencies

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This entry was posted in US - Taiwan Relationship and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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