US Approves $360M Taiwan Arms Deal

( – Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine to try to take over the sovereign nation, there have been concerns that China may do the same to Taiwan. In China’s eyes, the nation already belongs to the mainland—Taiwan disagrees. A recent announcement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) showed that Taiwan is making moves to increase its defensive capabilities with a purchase from the United States.

On June 18, two separate announcements showed that the US State Department was considering the possible military sale of up to 291 ALTIUS 600M-V Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), 720 Switchblade 300 All Up Rounds, and 101 SB300 fire control systems. The package would also include spares, operating manuals, training, technical assistance, engineering services, Lot Acceptance Testing, and other support. The next day, the State Department reportedly approved the potential sale of the requested drones capable of one-way attack for about $362 million.

DCSA said the purpose was to improve security and maintain “political stability, military balance, and economic progress” in Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement also said it would help the buyer “meet current and future threats. The agency also notified Congress of the potential transaction, stating it was yet to be finalized — the dollar amount and number of units could change. Also, Congress has the ability to potentially stop the sale, although that step is unlikely given the bipartisan support Taiwan has among legislators.

Taiwanese President Lai Ching-Te held a press conference after the pending approval, thanking the US government and vowing to “continue to strengthen” his country’s “defense strength.” Presidential Office spokeswoman Kuo Ya-hui said Taiwan plans to continue working with “like-minded countries” to “foster global peace” and “stability and prosperity” in the region.

China hasn’t formally reacted to the UAV sale between the US and Taiwan, but reports anticipate that the country’s leadership won’t be happy about it. This sale reportedly marks the 15th authorized transaction in Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office.

Copyright 2024,