Biden moves ahead with $500 million in weapons aid for Taiwan

Air Force soldiers prepare to load US made Harpoon AGM-84 anti ship missiles in front of an F-16V fighter jet during a drill at Hualien Air Force base on August 17, 2022. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
7:57 AM – Saturday, May 6, 2023

President Joe Biden’s administration is moving ahead with plans to send $500 million in weapons support to Taiwan.

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An anonymous source said that the aid to Taiwan will be sent by the Biden administration using the same emergency authority that it has used more than 35 times to send support to Ukraine.

The emergency authority, called the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), allows the President to “transfer articles and services from United States stockpiles without congressional approval during an emergency,” according to Reuters.

The $500 million will be the first portion of the $1 billion that Congress had authorized under the Presidential Drawdown Authority for weapons aid to Taiwan as part of the 2023 budget.

Over the last three years, China has progressively increased pressure and hostilities towards the island nation of Taiwan, which it views as its own territory. In April, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen travelled to Los Angeles to meet with U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which caused China to issue warnings and conduct military war games around Taiwan, crossing the boundary line between itself and the island nation.

Early in 2023, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the drawdown authority will be used. According to Reuters, a spokesperson reaffirmed that the actions being taken by the Biden administration are part of the obligations of the U.S. under the Taiwan Relations Act.

“Our approach remains consistent with longstanding U.S. policy,” the spokesperson said. “We’re hard at work fulfilling our obligations under the TRA (Taiwan Relations Act), and we’re going to continue to do so.”

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) has governed the relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan since 1979, when it was passed. The TRA gives the U.S. legal authority to provide Taiwan with aid in order to be able to protect itself, however, it does not require the U.S. to get directly involved if Taiwan was to be attacked.

Since 2022, Taiwan has complained to the U.S. in regards to the slowdown in weapons deliveries. Weapons manufacturers and military officials had turned their attention and support towards Ukraine as they fight the invasion by Russia, which in turn had delayed deliveries of weapons packages, such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and the new F-16Vs fighter jets, to Taiwan.

Chiu Kuo-Cheng, Taiwan’s Defense Minister, said that the delays in the deliveries are harmful, but they are working “to minimize the damage and make up deficiencies.”

According to Bloomberg news, which had first reported the news of the support package, the timing and contents of the $500 million package that is to be sent to Taiwan remain unknown.

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