Washington/ Taipei/ Manila: The US has approved direct military aid to Taiwan for the first time. According to the decision of the Biden administration, Taiwan will be given eight million dollars of arms assistance under ‘Foreign Military Financing (FMF)’. The US announcement has evoked a strong reaction from China. China’s armed forces will give a befitting reply, the Chinese Defence Ministry warned. Hence, the United States has indicated to develop a port on the Philippine Island called ‘Batanes’ in the sea area near Taiwan. This island is at a distance of 125 miles from Taiwan.
Against the backdrop of China’s expansionist actions and constant threats, the United States has launched vigorous activities to make Taiwan defence-ready. The United States announced military aid worth billions of dollars to Taiwan in the last few years. This US assistance was under the ‘Foreign Military Sales Program’. This is mainly used to sell arms to Taiwan. But a month ago, the US Defense Department announced that it would provide military assistance of up to one billion dollars to Taiwan under the ‘Presidential Drawdown Authority-PDA’.
Therefore, the route was cleared for direct supply of weapons to Taiwan from the arsenal available with the United States. ‘Foreign Military Financing’ (FMF) is considered its next step. We will supply funds for the weapons Taiwan buys under this plan. In the first tranche, a fund of 80 million dollars has been announced, and this fund is said to be used to purchase missiles, coastal defence systems, and drones. The ‘FMF’ scheme of the United States provides military aid to sovereign countries. The United States is said to have sent a message to China by selecting Taiwan for such a plan.
Taiwan has not yet received the arms assistance promised by the United States in the past. It may have been done largely by the Biden administration. However, in the backdrop of the Ukraine conflict, the United States had turned most of its attention to Ukraine. Thus, there were words of displeasure against the United States, even from the Taiwan government. It may still take years for US aid to reach Taiwan. Before this, if China makes haste to attack Taiwan, then Taiwan may suffer a big loss. Against this backdrop, US-based Republican leaders and military analysts have called for the Biden administration to immediately supply the arsenal to Taiwan, drawing lessons from the Ukraine conflict.
Meanwhile, the US, which has announced direct military aid to Taiwan, has hinted at developing a port at Batanes Bay in the Philippines. If China attacks Taiwan or any of the Southeast Asian countries, sea transport routes may be in trouble. Considering this possibility, the United States has started increasing its naval deployment in this region. Developing islands in the Philippines is also considered part of this. Even before this, China had given a signal by signing an agreement to use various naval bases in the Philippines.हिंदी