Trump Administration to go ahead with $1.42 billion arm sales to Taiwan

China needs to recognize that its gamble to help North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs in contrast to world opinion will have consequences and this U.S Administration will not shy away from taking punitive action.

The Donald Trump Administration is moving ahead with a plan on selling arms worth $1.42 billion to Taiwan, in a move that isn’t likely to go down well with China. The communist nation has not been able to contain North Korea’s rising rhetoric.

As per Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, on Thursday, the administration informed the U.S. Congress of the seven proposed arm sales to Taiwan.

“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” said Nauert.

The arm sales, include early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

The U.S. arms sales demonstrates the United States’ “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” while maintaining the status quo on its long-standing “one China” policy.

Incidentally, the U.S. is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, an island nation which has resisted Chinese rule. The country’s president leads an independence-leaning ruling party which refuses to recognise Beijing’s “one China” policy.

On Friday, Tsai’s office said that her government will continue “to seek constructive dialogue with Beijing, and promote positive developments in cross-strait relations.”

“(The arms sale) increases Taiwan’s confidence and ability to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” tweeted Tsai’s office.

As per an official from the U.S. State Department, the latest package primarily represented “upgrades to existing defense capabilities aimed at converting current legacy systems from analog to digital.”

In a strong sign of congressional support, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee welcomed what he called the “long-overdue” arms sale.

“Sales of defensive weapons, based on Taiwan’s needs, are a key provision of our commitments as laid out by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances,” said Republican Ed Royce, in reference to legislation and informal guidelines that steer U.S. relations with Taiwan.

The Trump Administration is engaging constructively with an increasingly aggressive China.

According to the officials, Trump is now considering trade actions against Beijing. On Thursday, the U.S. stepped up pressure by imposing sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for having helped North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The U.S. administration has also accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

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