Despite the tensions that have arisen over the years between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Taiwan, the United States plans to sell up to seven major weapons systems to the island, a move that directly challenges China and its ‘one country, two systems’ policy.
According to four familiar sources, the sale of the weapon systems to Taiwan would include mines, cruise missiles, and drones. The measure is unusual because, over the years, U.S. military sales to Taiwan have been made carefully to not increase tensions with Beijing, reported Reuters.
However, so far in 2020, relations between Beijing and Washington have reached their lowest point as a result of accusations of technology theft by the CCP, the trade war, the imposition of the controversial national security law on Hong Kong, the CCP’s dubious handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus pandemic and territorial tensions over the South China Sea.
Since the former leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai-Ing Wen, took over Taiwan’s presidency, the arms agreements with the United States have increased given the CCP’s constant threats to its sovereignty and democratic system.
As a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) points out, analysts suggest that Beijing will not give up on the idea of reunifying Taiwan, particularly when foreign forces intervene in matters which, according to the CCP, are only their concern.
“Unlike other areas of territorial contention, such as in the South China Sea, analysts say Beijing will show no flexibility on this issue and has not ruled out force to reunify Taiwan with the mainland,” SCMP said.
While the Taiwanese army has advanced equipment incorporating the U.S.–made hardware, China would have the larger arsenal and is currently adding advanced equipment, according to Reuters.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense described the package’s announcement as a media assumption, indicating that it handled negotiations and agreements on arms sales confidentially and discreetly, pointing out that there would be no official statements until the U.S. issues a formal notification, according to Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to report on the packages this week to President Donald Trump. Some of the agreements had been requested by Taiwan over a year ago, although the approval process was only recently given.
As Reuters points out, the Trump administration has sought to strengthen the allied countries’ defenses by reducing dependence on U.S. troops while boosting American companies and jobs.
At the beginning of August, Taiwan’s foreign minister warned that the CCP is seeking ways of turning the island into another Hong Kong.
The CCP’s intentions not only arouse concern given the efforts to seek a reunification of the island by force if necessary, but the pressure is now mounting as a result of the controversial security law imposed on Hong Kong, the disqualification of opposition politicians, and the detention of activists.
During his latest visit to Taiwan, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said: “Our daily lives have become increasingly difficult as China continues to pressure Taiwan to accept its political conditions, conditions that will make Taiwan the next Hong Kong.