United States President Donald Trump's administration has announced its plan to make a $7 billion arms deal with Taiwan. The decision aims to foster Taipei relationships as the U.S. increases its political and military pressure against Beijing.
Massive arms deal
According to the Wall Street Journal, two officials noted that the quantities of weaponry that America will sell to Taiwan include powerful cruise missiles, mines, and other hardware. The deal marks the largest arms agreement to the country.
The sale also consists of $400 million worth of MQ-9B Reaper drones accompanied by related sensors, logistics, ground control stations, and several other necessary equipment and accessories.
President Trump's administration has slowly been closing in on Taipei compared to previous administrations. The massive deal also comes after the nearly $15 billion weaponry the United States has sold to Taiwan under the Republican leader's rule.
Over former U.S. President Barack Obama's eight years in service, the United States has sold about $14 billion worth of arms and weaponry to Taiwan.
Previous sales to the island country were upon the request of Taiwan, and experts saw them as mostly symbolic as the nation was highly unlikely going to initiate a land war with mainland China.
However, experts believe the recent sales that include drones and cruise missiles are ploys by the U.S. government to pressure Beijing as the Chinese government views Taiwan as a rebellious territory.
Beijing has always kept the possibility of using military aggression to suppress and control the nation a plausible strategy.
Officials of Trump's administration refused to comment on the matter.
Support for the nation
On the other hand, Taiwan's cabinet said a $7 billion budget is still waiting for parliamentary approval. However, officials have noted it would be used to boost areas of the country that have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on the fishery, tourism, and aviation sectors, as reported by Reuters.
Evian Ting, a cabinet spokesman for Taiwan, told reporters that they are hoping to assist the suffering sectors during this challenging crisis.
Recently, the Taiwanese government has increased its efforts to support its citizens and plans to roll out a stimulus package. The bill is expected to include a net worth of $1.05 trillion and includes distribution of "stimulus coupons."
An academy supported by the government, Academia Sinica, said this month, Taiwan's economy can slowly recover its losses during the second half. However, it noted that the heightening tension between the United States and China was a cause for major concern.
With China continuously pushing its claims in the western Pacific and has consistently been undermining Hong Kong's autonomy, the Trump administration has moved to emphasize its relationship with Taiwan while being careful of its own policies regarding the island nation.
For the past three months, Taiwan has only had eight active cases, resulting from its controlled response to the global health crisis. The government has implemented early and effective prevention protocols and has a robust public health system.