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China demands Biden admin cancel $108 million arms sale to Taiwan

Taiwanese troops. (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, Twitter/Released)
July 18, 2022

The Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of National Defence demanded President Joe Biden’s administration immediately cancel an estimated $108 million arms sale to Taiwan, a Chinese state broadcaster reported on Monday, according to Reuters on Monday.

The demand comes three days after the Pentagon announced that the U.S. State Department had approved the “possible” multi-million dollar sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan.

“The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) has requested to buy Blanket Order Contractor Technical Assistance support consisting of unclassified spare and repair parts and assembly for tanks and combat vehicles; logistical technical assistance; U.S. Government and contractor representative technical and logistical support; and other related elements of logistical and program support,” the Pentagon said in a press released. “The estimated total cost is $108 million.”

The Pentagon asserted that the proposed sale “serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.”

“The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region,” the Defense Department continued, adding that “there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.”

The US-Taiwan Business Council said in a statement on Friday that it “welcomed” the possible sale which it said will “help Taiwan maintain its vehicles, small arms, combat weapon systems, and logistical support items.”

“The Biden Administration’s security assistance policy through 2025 will focus on sustainment and munitions. Force modernization of Taiwan’s armed forces is no longer a priority,” Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said in a statement.

“More information will allow us to better predict where U.S. policy will start to open up critical gaps in Taiwan’s all-phases approach to the defense of the island,” Hammond-Chambers added. “The PLA will naturally focus on these emerging vulnerabilities, as they adapt to the shortcomings of U.S. policy.”

Hammond-Chambers then once again urged the Biden administration “to provide strategic clarity on where U.S. forces will fill gaps in Taiwan’s defense brought on by these changes to U.S. policy.”

Earlier this month, China demanded the Biden administration stop all military “collusion” with Taiwan, ABC News reported.

Gen. Li Zuocheng told Gen. Mark Milley that there is “no room for compromise” on issues that impact China’s “core interests,” including Taiwan.

“China demands the U.S. … cease reversing history, cease U.S.-Taiwan military collusion and avoid impacting China-U.S. ties and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Li said.

Li then threatened the U.S. with a “firm counterattack” in order to “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“If anyone creates a wanton provocation, they will be met with the firm counterattack from the Chinese people,” he added.