OAN’s Roy Francis
12:56 PM – Thursday, August 31, 2023
The Biden administration has approved funding for the first-ever transfer of military weapons and equipment to Taiwan.
The package totals to around $80 million and will be part of the estimated $2 billion that was set aside for funding to Taiwan as part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The approval came under the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF), a program that is typically reserved only for sovereign nations.
“FMF will be used to strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities through joint and combined defense capability and enhanced maritime domain awareness and maritime security capability,” the State Department notified Congress.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed the approval of the transfer in a statement to CNN.
“Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our longstanding One China policy, which has not changed, the United States makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable it to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” the statement read. “The United States has an abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is critical to regional and global security and prosperity.”
The military aid package has drawn sharp criticism from China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. China’s foreign ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and firmly opposed the approval of the package. The ministry went on to say that military aid to Taiwan harmed “China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged the U.S. to “cease enhancing U.S.-Taiwan military connections and arming Taiwan,” claiming that the actions of the U.S. are “creating tensions across the Taiwan Strait.”
According to the letter that was sent to Congress, the package will likely include air and coastal defense systems, ballistic missile defense, cyber defense, drones, military training, individual soldier protective gear, and ammunition.
According to The Associated Press, this is the second time that the U.S. has provided military assistance under the FMF program to a non-nation-state. The first time was to the African Union.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts