china Dave DeCamp Foreign Policy Military

Biden To Ask Congress To Approve $1.1 Billion Arms Sale for Taiwan

The planned sale comes amid soaring tensions sparked by Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
Taiwan flag. jitcji, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

The Biden administration is planning to ask Congress to approve a $1.1 billion arms sale for Taiwan that includes anti-ship missiles and anti-air missiles, Politico reported on Monday, citing sources with knowledge of the weapons package.

The arms package will include 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles worth $355 million, 100 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles worth $85.6 million, and$655.4 million for a surveillance radar contract extension.

Once the Biden administration notifies Congress of its intent to make the sale, it starts a review period. Since there is massive bipartisan support for arming Taiwan, the deal will likely be easily approved.

The planned sale comes amid soaring tensions that were sparked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at the beginning of August. China responded by launching its largest-ever military exercises around the island. More US delegations visited Taiwan throughout August, and the US sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend.

Since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, the US has continued to sell weapons to the island. But those arms sales have increased in recent years, and the US has taken other steps to boost ties with Taiwan as part of its strategy against China.

Last week, Taiwan’s cabinet unveiled a plan to boost military spending by 13.9%. The additional funds will go toward the procurement of new weapons and will pay for Taiwan’s military operations that are being done in response to China’s stepped-up presence around the island, a consequence of Pelosi’s visit.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

21 comments

  1. See what Pelosi started? It even made her husband drink to the point of going to jail.

  2. It seems from observing how similar the US strategy regarding Taiwan is to what they did in Ukraine, post the 2014 coup, ramping up arms sales and military assistance, that the Pentagon is attempting to draw China into a costly conflict over Taiwan’s independence, in the same way they did to Russia re Donbas etc. In their calculations they don’t seem to give a thought to the lives that would be lost and devastation caused as long as it’s costing China in both money, resources and lives lost. Which is also the US strategy in Ukraine.

    1. “as long as it’s costing China in both money, resources and lives lost”
      And not just China (and Uk) but devastatingly on the home front as well.

    2. We already saw how US warmongering finally brought China and Russia together, resolving their years of conflict in view of the US threat. The nations of the world now turn to China and Russia for protection. But this point doesn’t seem to be getting through to the public.

    3. obviously you are wrong—when China wants Taiwan USA will do nothing—americans only bully weak defenseless peoples…Russia is already triumphant in Ukraine; in the past 6 months Russian national treasury increased 32%….USA is bleeding itself as are NATO nations—not Russia

      1. Russia is already triumphant in Ukraina? I don’t quite understand where you’re getting that. To paraphrase Tacitus, “they make a wasteland and call it a victory”, which is what most think of as “terrorism”, not “triumph”.

        Ukraina was as peaceful as Palestine —they actually *gave away* their nukes. To Russia based on Russian promises that were since broken viciously. How nice for Russia.

        If the West were supplying sufficient weaponry to Ukraina, such as a hundred or so of the “obsolete” Warthogs beloved both by their pilots and by the infantry they defend, the Russian survivors would already have been driven back over the border.

        As it is, even with Ukraina having only the newer katyushi, the newer long-range artillery, and the while-we’re-having-a-sitdown 30mm “bombs” made to be dropped by drones on top of Russian tanks, the Red Army is far from having everything all their own way.

        As one grey-bearded fighter said as he was lugging ammunition along a dirt road in a child’s wagon: “Invaders have never liked how Cossacks have greeted them. ” Then with a big toothy grin, momentarily lifting his wool shapka to show his topknot: “And *I* am a Cossack!”

  3. We must not pretend the crash dummy decides anything. The USA is no longer a real nation (thank goodness!)

  4. Yes, this administration alternates, back and forth, between provoking China via Taiwan and Russia via Ukraine. Incredibly, Biden is openly setting the stage for nuclear world war, and today’s Americans shrug.

    1. Odd that you don’t perceive it as Russia and China provoking everyone else.

      Russia has attacked and demanded land from Ukraina *twice* which is the Number One International Crime, claiming that Ukraina has “always” been a part of Russia, which is nonsense since the Kievan Rus was quite a large federation stretching from the White to the Black Sea and from Poland in the west to well to the east of Moscow while Moscow was nothing but a wide spot in the road.

      And China is demanding that Taiwan agree (presumably so that China can avoid being charged with that same Number One Crime) with the lie that Taiwan is a part of the misnamed PRC rather than the reverse (Taiwan in its current political incarnation is the older: Sun Yat-Sen, 1914; Mousie Dung, ca 1946) .

      As to nuclear war, Putin is certainly psychopathic, but high-order psychopaths are extremely rational in their calculations. He might want to set the spark off just moments before he dies, but one of the people around him at that point would lie to him so he can go out with misplaced satisfaction. Or if that weren’t possible, would simply provide an earlier death so as to prevent their own. I would bet on General Shoygu, personally.

  5. While I despise the very ground Donald Trump walks on, I have to say none of this probably would have happened if he was President. Trump is easy…give him a big mac with fries and stroke is ego, tell him how great he is and he would likely spend most his time golfing and feeling up the staff at Mar-a-lago.

    He is almost harmless in comparison to the “lesser” evil of the psychopaths and madmen the people “elected” to save us from him.

    Ironic isn’t it.

    1. Probably Donald would have blocked Ukraine from joining Nato. There are history of him hating Zelensky and Ukraine. Ironic?? The war would not have even started and the world would have continued as is.

  6. Great comments people! Wonderful to see Biden is no man of history as he neglects the horrific lessons of WWI eagerly embracing the possibility of a two front war with Russia and China. Assuming that we did not have nuclear weapons in the mix. Therefore, as one reader suggest life means nothing to him or his flunkies American or otherwise as he marches us to nuclear holocaust. Meanwhile most westerner yawn and merrily live the capitalist dream! Ho hum!

  7. it would appear that like deer’s alleged inability to see red, America suffers from a similar condition. It couldn’t see China’s red line about America troops on China’s border in the Korean War. And look how seen that turned out. It couldn’t see Russia’s red line over NATO-izing Ukraine. And look how errrrm that’s turning out. And now it can’t see China’s red line over interfering in the China/Taiwan relationship. Have they learnt nothing from recent events?

      1. Sorry, most are sharp and bright.
        But stuck with an unchangeable system, unadjustable government, on track for more of the same, on trend to be more and more.
        When I was young, there were no graffiti, no army of homeless, no school shootings, no great numbers of obese, no lawsuit for 1.4 billion for Lies, etc.
        Some things is obviously not good.

    1. I can’t really see whatever it is that you’re seeing.

      What do you think the US is trying to do to Russia? Invade and conquer it? That would be the uttermost madness even to attempt. Who would side with the US lunatics? It would take nukes, and the US would be, if it survived, the Forever Predator, completely untrusted by anyone about anything. There would be an endless, covert stream of Specials coming from every country with the goal of taking out the US military and political hegemons, and I’d be out there with bottles of water and packets of sandwiches, ready to hold their coats. Who wouldn’ t?

      As for the “Red” Chinese, they have no right to Taiwan any more than they had a right to Tibet, or to Inner Mongolia, or any of the other claims they’ve tried on over the years.

      They _succeeded_ in grabbing Tibet et al., but that’s only because the ones who ran the Nuernberg Trials, especially the US, have failed in their duty to _enforce_ the international laws that came from the trials and have been embodied in the UN Charter and elsewhere.

      The Zionists should all have been hanged for their crimes against the Palestinian people, and the Chinese against the Tibetans, Uyghurs, and others, and PolPot and Amin for the crimes against their people. And so should a number of US officials, including Clinton, the Bushes, Obama, Biden, B.Liar, Thatcher, et lengthy cetera. None of them should have been able to escape. All should have danced the hemp fandango.

      But they didn’t because everyone was shite-scared of what they might do if they were angered, as though there were something worse that they _could_ do!

  8. More profit for war materiel manufacturers (donors to Congresspersons). And a boost to Biden’s prospects in 2024.

  9. Trumps idea of building a great big beautiful wall was a step in the right direction.Only problem it was not long enough.Should have encircled the entire country.Not to keep people out but to keep these lunatics in.
    As for China and Russia their relationship is now based on that old saying
    ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
    “The World based rules order” seems, to now have created a terminal problem for themselves.Only problem there is they will take everyone else with them.

  10. And they told us to vote for Biden because Trump was DANGEROUS, really now, is Biden trying to start another proxy war? By the way, I voted for neither Biden nor Trump, went third party.

  11. Oh, my. I am having a garage sale this weekend and I see how hard it is to make even a hundred dollars. How can one visit stir up things that now allow so much money to be spent on arms! With barely any discussion. Or suggestions of options to stop this madness! Look the Emperor has no clothes!

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