The US contribution to Taiwan’s military capability increased this week to $480 million in combined grants of money that can be spent directly in the US and drawdowns from US inventories, according to documents.
(Bloomberg) — The US contribution to Taiwan’s military capability increased this week to $480 million in combined grants of money that can be spent directly in the US and drawdowns from US inventories, according to documents.
The State Department on Sept. 11 notified lawmakers it was increasing by $55 million the amount of so-called Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, that Taiwan can spend. The funds were shifted from money meant for Egypt. That’s on top of $80 million in FMF Taiwan funding that the administration notified Congress about on Aug. 31.
The US has previously allowed the funding mechanism to be used only by select major allies such as Israel and Egypt. China has long complained about US arms sales to Taiwan, which it views as a province.
The White House announced in late July the first ever drawdown from US inventories for Taiwan of $345 million in equipment and arms, which it did not itemize.
The State Department’s justification documents said the FMF dollars could be used to buy equipment ranging from air and coastal defense systems, rocket artillery, a widely-used US air defense and counter-rocket system called C-RAM, counter-drone systems to soldiers’ equipment and small arms.
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The FMF money was authorized for Taiwan in this year’s defense policy bill and allow as much as $2 billion a year to be appropriated through 2027.
Some lawmakers remain unhappy with the actual amounts to date, however.
“The Biden administration’s decision to provide $55 million in foreign military financing to Taiwan is a pittance compared to Taiwan’s enormous needs for self-defense and the United States’ clear national interest in supporting Taipei,” Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.
The House Armed Services Committee will convene a hearing on Sept. 19 regarding defense cooperation with Taiwan with witnesses from the Pentagon and the State Department.
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