US to Taiwan Arms Sale
The sale primarily includes fighter aircraft missiles, missile launchers, and related equipment, worth an estimated $619 million.
The Defense Department statement says that the “proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability” and that the sale “will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”
Xi meeting with President Biden
President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (November 14) in Bali, Indonesia. Meeting points were publicly-released providing the perspectives of both the United States and China via its foreign ministry.
The key point on Taiwan:
President Biden said that U.S. policy on One China has not changed; the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The President objected to China’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region, and jeopardize global prosperity.” President Xi stressed that the Taiwan question “is at the very core of China's core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations;” resolving the Taiwan question is a matter only for the Chinese and that reunification is a “common aspiration of the Chinese people;” that China “absolutely” will not let anyone seek to split Taiwan from China;” and that “cross-Strait peace and stability and Taiwan independence are as irreconcilable as water and fire.”
Biden Statement on Defending Taiwan
On a 60 Minutes broadcast on September 18, President Biden stated “yes” and “if it were an unprecedented attack” to a question from Scott Pelly asking “So, unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. forces, U.S. men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” 60 Minutes stated that after the interview a White House representative stated that U.S. policy toward Taiwan “has not changed.”
A China foreign ministry spokesman responded that the President’s remarks had violated a commitment of the U.S. not to support Taiwan independence, and that it sends “a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces.” While China, the spokesman says, is “willing to make the biggest sincere efforts” for a peaceful reunification, it will not “tolerate any activities aimed at splitting the country, and reserve the choice to take all necessary measures."
The President made a similar statement at a press conference during his May trip to Asia. A U.S. reporter asked the President: “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that? The President answered: “ Yes, it is a commitment we made.” Similar to the 60 Minutes interview, the Administration soon after clarified that U.S. policy has not changed with respect to military support of Taiwan by the United States; that, U.S. commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act remain the same – i.e., providing Taiwan with the means to defend itself.
After that statement, China released a statement by a Foreign Ministry spokesman: “No one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will, and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Taiwan Defense Strategy
A good article in RollCall (September 13) articulates the current debate over a defense strategy for Taiwan.
The focus of this article is on U.S. policy and weapons sales; specifically, the kinds of weapons the United States should either give or sell to Taiwan that might deter China aggression, versus building up defense capabilities that would enable Taiwan to successfully repel any attack.
The article suggests that decisions may be forthcoming by the Biden Administration and/or the Congress regarding weapons sales or donations that may lean one way or another.
House Speaker Visit to Taiwan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2, the first visit by a high ranking U.S. official since House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997. Various Members of Congress have visited the country since that time, but no high ranking officials. The only U.S President to ever visit Taiwan was Dwight Eisenhower in 1960.
In response to the visit China released a list of actions (August 5) it is taking against the United States.
The list includes suspending:
Repatriation of illegal chinese immigrants
Regular calls between U.S. and Chinese defense leaders
Legal assistance on criminal matters
Collaboration on transnational crime
Collaboration on counternarcotics efforts
Call with China
President Biden had a call with China’s President Xi Jinping (July 28th). The published read-out of the call does not mention House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit, but it did say that on the subject of Taiwan, President Biden “underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
USCC Annual Report Recommendations to Address the Threats to Taiwan
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) issued its annual report (November 2021) providing a review of the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the U.S. and China. Among its 32 recommendations are those addressing China's military build up near Taiwan. The report calls for, among other things, growing military capability in the region including "large numbers of cruise and ballistic missiles;" expanding intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in the region; and, hardening theater operations with missile defense, munitions stockpiling, and stronger continuity of operations.
No Results Found
This strategy reflects the Indo-Pacific policy of the United States, articulated via overarching policy goals in areas such as openness and democracy, security, and economic cooperation.
Status: this strategy was announced on February 11, 2022.
This is the People's Republic of China (PRC) articulation of the so-called "one-China" principle that governs its relationship with the rest of the world regarding Taiwan.
Status: as this is the PRC's position on this matter, no change in this position is currently anticipated.