US announces up to $345 million in weapons package for Taiwan

US announces up to $345 million in weapons package for Taiwan

Move comes after Congress approved $1 billion in weapons transfers for Taiwan in 2023 budget

By Iclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US announced Friday $345 million in military aid for Taiwan in the first time that Washington is sending equipment to the island nation from existing American stockpiles

The White House said in a statement that President Joe Biden delegated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to "direct the drawdown of up to $345 million in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training, to provide assistance to Taiwan."

The statement did not include details about what systems would be provided.

The package came as Congress authorized $1 billion in military aid to be provided to Taiwan under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) in the 2023 budget.

The move is likely to anger Beijing as relations between the US and China remain tense because of a Trump-era trade war, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's official visit to Taiwan and a suspected Chinese spy balloon above American territory.

Blinken and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently visited China to discuss ties.

China considers Taiwan its "breakaway province" while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.

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