Washington has approved a proposed sale of US$120 million in spare parts for ships and systems, and related equipment to Taiwan, the fourth Taipei-bound defense package approved by the administration of US President Joe Biden.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Wednesday that the sale would include unclassified spare and repair parts for ships and ship systems, logistical technical assistance, US government and contractor representative technical and logistical support, and other related elements of logistical and program support requested by Taiwan.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the sustainment of the recipient’s surface-vessel fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,” the statement said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
The Ministry of National Defense expressed “sincere gratitude” for the deal, saying it would help the navy maintain its equipment and replenish supplies to remain combat ready in the face of an increasingly assertive Chinese military.
The sale is expected to be finalized within one month, it added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the latest deal was the third defense package offered to Taiwan this year and the fourth since Biden took office in January last year.
The first one, in August last year, was a US$750 million deal to purchase 40 Paladin M109A6 self-propelled howitzers.
It was followed by a US$100 million package in February that included equipment and services to support participation in the Patriot International Engineering Services Program and Field Surveillance Program for five years.
The third, in April, was a US$95 million sale of equipment and services aimed at maintaining Taiwan’s US-made Patriot missile air defense system.
The foreign ministry welcomed the latest defense sale, saying it shows that Washington attaches great importance on enhancing Taiwan’s self-defense capability.
It also reflects the US’ continued policy of normalizing defense-related sales to Taiwan, it added.
However, Chieh Chung (揭仲), a researcher with the Association of Strategic Foresight, disagreed that the package shows the US “is serious about Taiwan’s national defense needs.”
The sales are only continuing the standardization of military sales to Taiwan adopted under former US president Donald Trump, as most of the defense packages offered by the Biden administration are spare parts and lack substance, Chieh said yesterday.
The most recent sale provides limited help in increasing Taiwan’s military capability, he said, adding that it fails to resolve doubts about US weapons sales after changes made to orders for the Paladin howitzers.
Whether the US makes any other changes to agreed-upon sales, agrees to sell Taiwan AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and when the US will agree to sell Taiwan smart naval mines are the three things to watch to determine whether the US is “serious” about Taiwan’s defense needs, Chieh said.
The AGM-158, which could be equipped on upgraded F-16A/Bs, would provide the jets with cross-strait strike capabilities, as the missiles have a target range of 370km, but the US has not agreed to the sale, despite repeated requests for the missiles by the defense ministry since 2014, Chieh said.
The US’ refusal to sell Taiwan smart naval mines — first requested by Taiwan in 2018 and again in August 2020 — is strange because they are the kind of equipment that many in the Biden administration say should be a high-priority purchase to increase Taiwan’s asymmetric warfare capabilities, Chieh said.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
UNDETERRED: The US chip designer’s plan showed that Taiwan remains attractive for investment by global companies despite cross-strait tensions, Wang Mei-hua said US graphics chip designer Nvidia Corp is planning to relocate its Hong Kong-based logistics center to Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Wednesday. The government had been in discussions with Nvidia regarding tax incentives to facilitate the move since last year, Wang said in an interview with the Central News Agency, adding that the two sides had reached a consensus. Wang did not provide details about the timetable for the move or the planned tax arrangements for Nvidia. The relocation would boost the local economy, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is a major supplier of graphics processing
Kaohsiung police last week busted a money laundering operation suspected of seeking to interfere in tomorrow’s local elections. The operation was allegedly headed by a man surnamed Lee (李), who had received NT$9.5 billion (US$306.18 million) from China over the past six months, Kaohsiung police said yesterday, adding that Lee’s ring is suspected to be part of a larger Chinese effort to interfere in the elections and support pro-China candidates. Officers arrested Lee, 35, and his girlfriend, searched his mansion, and seized the money he had allegedly received from China and three luxury vehicles, police said. The operation was disguised as an online
‘NEWEST’: The company’s Arizona plant is to produce 5-nanometer chips in the initial stage and would later manufacture 3-nanometer chips, Morris Chang said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) yesterday confirmed that the company plans to produce its most advanced 3-nanometer chips in the US as part of the company’s phase 2 plan at its plant in Phoenix, Arizona. The 91-year-old entrepreneur, who has been appointed as Taiwan’s envoy to APEC six times, yesterday morning held a news conference at the Presidential Office Building to discuss his delegation’s accomplishments at this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, which ended on Saturday. He was asked whether TSMC has plans to build advanced chips in the US. “TSMC’s plant in Arizona is