US OKs first ever defense aid for Taiwan under sovereign state finance program

Washington, Aug 31 (UNI) US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul applauded the Biden administration announcing aid for Taiwan that for the first time ever will come through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), a program usually reserved for sovereign states or international organizations.

“I am glad the administration is further implementing our bipartisan Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act by finally providing FMF to Taiwan. These weapons will not only help Taiwan and protect other democracies in the region, but also strengthen the US deterrence posture,” McCaul said in a statement on Wednesday.

McCaul also said the move will ensure US national security against China.

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the FMF is offered to eligible “partner nations” to buy defense articles and services.

The African Union is the only other non-nation-state to receive military aid through FMF, US officials told AP. According to the report, the officials said the move does not change US policy with respect to Taiwan’s status.

The State Department notified Congress of the sale on Wednesday, the report added. Although the initial sale is a mere $80 million of unspecified supplies, the move is sure to “infuriate” China, the report said.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing regards the island as its province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous entity but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official foreign contacts with Taipei and regards Chinese sovereignty over the island as indisputable.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said it does not consider Taiwan independent.

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