U.S. Accused of Making Taiwan a ‘Powder Keg’: China Responds to New Military Aid Package
The White House’s recent announcement of a $345 million military aid package for Taiwan has sparked strong reactions from China, accusing the U.S. of exacerbating the threat of conflict.
In a major development that could impact Sino-U.S. relations, China has accused the United States of converting Taiwan into a “powder keg” following the White House’s announcement of a new $345 million military aid package for Taipei.
According to CBS News, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement on Saturday strongly opposing the military aid to Taiwan, which China considers its own territory.
“Powder Keg and Ammunition Depot”
Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office, warned, “Their actions are turning Taiwan into a powder keg and ammunition depot, aggravating the threat of war in the Taiwan Strait.” The statement follows increasing military manoeuvres by China’s People’s Liberation Army aimed at Taiwan, including the deployment of fighter jets and warships to circle the island.
Taiwan Tracks Chinese Navy Ships
On Sunday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense announced it had tracked six Chinese navy ships in waters off its shores, adding to the escalating tension in the region.
U.S. Military Aid Fuels Tensions
The U.S. military aid package, part of a presidential authority approved by the U.S. Congress last year, allows Taiwan to draw weapons from current U.S. military stockpiles, expediting the process of military production and sales.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners told CBS News the package “includes self-defence capabilities that Taiwan will be able to use to build to bolster deterrence now and in the future.” The systems included in the $345 million package aim to address critical defensive stockpiles, multi-domain awareness, anti-armour, and air defence capabilities.
The Historical Context
China and Taiwan split amid a civil war in 1949, and Taiwan has never been governed by China’s ruling Communist Party. However, China continues to claim Taiwan as its own territory, a claim vehemently disputed by Taiwan.
The recent U.S. military aid package announcement and China’s subsequent response mark a significant escalation in the already tense relations between the two superpowers.
As the situation continues to unfold, the international community watches with bated breath. The repercussions of this escalating dispute will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications on the geopolitical stage. It remains to be seen how the U.S., China, and Taiwan will navigate this complex and volatile situation.