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Pentagon lambasts China, says US will supply arms to Taiwan to counter regional threat

Washington/Beijing: China had warned the United States that they need not make Beijing an enemy by providing weapons to Taiwan. The United States lambasted China in its reply, saying that cooperation with Taiwan would continue. Additionally, ‘The US military assistance to Taiwan will not alter the military balance of the region. This assistance will only strengthen the capability and internal security of Taiwan to face prevalent and future regional threats,’ the US Defence Headquarter, Pentagon retorted.

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The US Department of State took a crucial decision regarding the military assistance to Taiwan that President Trump had announced. The US Department has approved the arms sale to Taiwan worth $2.2 billion which includes the supply of 108 Abrams tanks, 250 anti-aircraft Stinger missiles and related equipment and technology. Furthermore, the US Congress has been provided information on the weapons supply, and the final decision on it will be taken in the next two months, the State Department announced.

China has expressed anger over the US decision. The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Le Yucheng threatened the United States during an international forum in Beijing. Yucheng said, ‘By establishing cooperation with Taiwan, you are accepting enmity with China. You will have to face severe consequences for it.’ Even though the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister avoided naming the United States, China’s reaction has apparently been received after the US announcement of supplying arms worth $2.2 billion to Taiwan.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang reminded the United States of China’s ‘One China Policy’ and also appealed to them to honour the policy. ‘Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory and any cooperation with the administration in Taiwan, will be seen as a challenge to China’s sovereignty and security,’ Shuang stated as he criticised the United States.

However, the Pentagon justified the military cooperation with Taiwan and claimed that the military balance in the region would not be altered due to the collaboration. ‘At the same time, the cooperation would augment Taiwan’s military strength. Taiwan needs to bolster its military might, to face any current and future regional threat’, the Pentagon said thus underlining the threat Taiwan faced from China.

Last month, the United States had announced that Taiwan was an essential ally in the Indo-Pacific region. Also, the US jolted China’s One China Policy, by displaying the flag of Taiwan’s Marine Corps during the military talks of the Indo-Pacific countries. US President Trump has attached special significance to political and military cooperation with Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China has begun mounting military pressure on Taiwan by objecting to the US-Taiwan military cooperation. Last month, Chinese fighter jets and destroyers had patrolled close to the Taiwanese border. Nevertheless, in order to counter China, Taiwan has declared to increase its military preparedness.

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