Biden Gives Green Light OT Major Weapons Deal With Taiwan

Using the same emergency power that has been utilized over 35 times to deliver relief to Ukraine, the Biden administration, according to an anonymous source, will provide aid to Taiwan.

President Joe Biden is reportedly putting the finishing touches on a $500 million weapons package for Taiwan.

Concerns have been raised by the Biden administration and its allies over China’s rapid military modernization, with some predicting that by 2027, Chinese officials will have their armed forces ready to invade Taiwan.

There is a $19 billion backlog in approved but undelivered armaments to Taiwan because of the US’s use of a drawdown to avoid the generally lengthy process of contracting and producing weapons. 

The Presidential Drawdown Authority was established last year, according to Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners, a spokesman for the Pentagon, “to deliver vital security assistance in support of Taiwan’s self-defense.”

The Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) is an extraordinary emergency power that permits the President to transfer services and articles, during an emergency, from U.S. stockpiles without approval from Congress.

In the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress gave President Biden permission to utilize up to $1 billion in US inventory for Taiwan. The administration has been criticized for being slow to employ this authority.

Yesterday in Taipei, the Ministry of National Defense expressed gratitude for the help it has received from friendly countries. Chiu Kuo-cheng, Taiwan’s minister of defense, said Monday that the United States would make up for the delay in sending weapons under a separate deal.

However, he did not specify what kinds of tools the United States would provide.

He explained that the delay in weaponry sales would be made up for by delivering “spot goods,” simulators, or training equipment. 

For the past three years, China has been increasingly hostile toward Taiwan, which it claims as its territory. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen crossed the strait in April to meet with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). This prompted China to issue warnings and conduct military war simulations surrounding Taiwan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee in early 2023 and confirmed that the drawdown authority would be implemented then. 

U.S. policy toward Taiwan has been controlled since 1979 by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA authorizes the United States to grant Taiwan defensive aid in the event of an assault, but it does not mandate American involvement in an attack on Taiwan.