The United States government intends to sell over $1 billion in weapons to Taiwan, intending to help the Taiwanese government defend against a potential blockade or invasion by China.
China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has indicated that it would invade if Taiwan were to make any moves to declare its independence. The United States has historically maintained a strategy of what it calls “strategic ambiguity” regarding the military defense of Taiwan. Under this strategy, the U.S. has openly supported Taiwanese freedom from Chinese control, but never explicitly promised to openly support Taiwan in any conflict with China. But last month President Biden was asked explicitly whether “U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion” and Biden answered with an unflinching “Yes.”
Every administration since President Jimmy Carter has sold weapons to Taiwan. But this shift in stance, along with this latest increased arms sale to Taiwan, only increases the tensions with China that could lead to war. By sending weapons to Taiwan, the U.S. aims to bolster the Taiwanese military’s defense against a Chinese blockade or invasion, and to allow the U.S. time to intervene militarily. A war between China and Taiwan could easily escalate into a direct war between the U.S. and China. These arms sales are an even more ominous signal that the U.S. continues to prepare for a potential war with China.