US President Joe Biden’s administration has green-lighted a new arms sale to Taiwan, including armored vehicle parts and technical assistance, potentially ratcheting up tensions with China over the breakaway republic.
The US State Department approved the transaction, which is valued at up to $108 million, at Taiwan’s request, the Pentagon revealed on Friday. The blanket order will include parts for tanks and other combat vehicles, as well as technical and logistical support services provided by the US government and its contractors.
“We express sincere gratitude to the State Department for giving clearance for the order,” Taiwan’s defense ministry said. It added that the deal is based on a federal law obligating Washington to help Taipei defend itself, as well as the “Six Assurances” principles, under which the US pledged to make arms sales to Taiwan without consulting China. The principles also include commitments not to formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan and to refrain from pressuring Taipei into negotiations with Beijing.
The latest arms deal will enhance the Taiwanese military’s interoperability with American forces and other allies, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “The proposed sale will contribute to the sustainment of the recipient’s vehicles, small arms, combat weapon systems, and logistical support items, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,” the agency said.