NOS News•today, 01:44•Amended today, 12:26
The United States has announced that it may sell weapons to Taiwan worth 1.1 billion euros. According to the Ministry of Defense, these include 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 anti-aircraft missiles. The deal isn’t finalized yet, and Congress has yet to decide on it. China reacts furiously to the plan.
If sales continue, it will be the first time in two years that so many American weapons have been delivered to Taiwan, according to Bloomberg. Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to vote for the sale in Congress.
According to the Pentagon, the deliveries will not affect the “military balance” that now exists in the region. A spokesman said that “the proposed sales are part of standard sales to modernize Taiwan’s military.”
The arms transfer could “seriously endanger relations between Washington and Beijing,” warns a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the US. China says it will take countermeasures if the US does not cancel the sale. Earlier, China said it “strongly opposes the sale of American weapons to the Chinese region of Taiwan”.
According to the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, two Chinese warplanes crossed the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, which is considered an unofficial border between Taiwan and China, today. A total of four Chinese planes and five ships are said to be in the vicinity. China has not yet said whether it is a direct response to the possible US arms supply.
Tensions between the US and China over Taiwan have been mounting since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island last month. Beijing considers that visit a provocation, because China sees Taiwan as a renegade province.
Any visit by a foreign power to the island is seen by the Chinese government as support for the ‘renegade province’. China has been militarily active around Taiwan several times since Pelosi’s visit. After her visit, the United States visited Taiwan at least twice with several delegations.
In this video you can see the role the United States is playing in the dispute between China and Taiwan:
Will Taiwan be the scene of the next great war?