US allocates billion for Taiwan defence from China
Taiwanese Armed Forces invited to major Rimpac naval exercises in 2024. A 0 million per year fund created for ammunition for Taipei in the event of conflict. According to the Pentagon, Beijing could attack by 2024. However, the Ukraine war is delaying arms deliveries to the island.
Taipei (AsiaNews) - Over the next five years, the US will allocate billion in aid and loans to defend Taiwan from a possible attack by China. This is revealed in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress will approve by the end of the month.
In a decision that will further raise tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the document provides for Taipei's participation in 2024 in Rimpac, the largest US air and sea exercise in the Western Pacific. Washington will also create a 100 million per year fund for munitions for the Taiwanese in the event of a conflict.
According to Admiral Michael Gilday, the US Navy's chief of naval operations, Beijing may be able to invade Taiwan by 2024 and not 2027, as previously predicted by the Pentagon.
In March 2021, Admiral Phil Davidson, then head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, had stated that the Chinese might try to retake the island within the next six years.
China considers Taiwan a 'rebel province' and has never ruled out recapturing it by force, especially with Xi Jinping's rise to power.
The island has been de facto independent of Beijing since 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists took refuge there after losing the civil war on the mainland to the communists, making it the heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912.
The Chinese responded to August visit to Taipei by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, with a technical rehearsal of a military blockade: one of the options in Xi's hands in a possible future invasion scenario of the island.
The alternative is an amphibious operation, which according to many experts would be the most complicated since the Anglo-American landing in Normandy on 6 June 1944.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the US is committed to defending Taipei. Adopted in 1979 after the formal diplomatic recognition of Communist China, the act does not specify the actual nature of Washington's commitment to the island: a 'strategic ambiguity' that produces continuing tensions with Beijing.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, creates problems for Washington's military support to the Taiwanese: military aid deliveries to Kiev are slowing down deliveries to Taipei, as admitted by the US government itself.
At the moment, the island still has to receive USD 18.7 billion worth of US armaments. Most of these are F-16 fighter jets, Stinger air defence missiles and Paladin self-propelled artillery systems.
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