The decade's most triggering comedy
China is accusing the United States of turning Taiwan into an “ammunition depot” days after the White House announced a $345 million aid package to the island nation.
In a statement, China said it is committed to “reunification” with Taiwan and opposed the American aid package. The communist nation claimed the recent actions by the U.S. have been increasing the “threat of war” in the region by turning Taiwan into a “powder keg,” an accusation it has repeatedly levied against America in recent months.
“No matter how much of the ordinary people’s taxpayer money the … Taiwanese separatist forces spend, no matter how many U.S. weapons, it will not shake our resolve to solve the Taiwan problem. Or shake our firm will to realize the reunification of our motherland,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Chen Binhua said.
“Their actions are turning Taiwan into a powder keg and ammunition depot, aggravating the threat of war in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.
The Biden administration’s aid package to Taiwan, which was officially announced on Friday, includes defense, training, and education, according to the Associated Press. Two American officials told the outlet the U.S. would send firearms and missiles, man-portable air defense systems, and intelligence capabilities.
The aid package is significant because it includes equipment taken from American stockpiles instead of making Taiwan wait for production. This is the first time the Biden administration has done that, the AP notes. The aid package was able to rely on U.S. stockpiles because of a presidential drawdown authority approved by Congress last year.
Lawmakers have reportedly been pressuring Biden and the Pentagon to send weapons and equipment to Taiwan to help deter an attack from China, a goal Beijing appears to have responded to in its statement.
Taiwan thanked the U.S. for its “firm security commitment,” while Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners said the aid would “bolster deterrence now and in the future.”
“Obviously the US has not changed our policy on Taiwan,” Meiners said, confirming that the U.S. is “committed” to the “One China” policy Washington holds, in addition to the Taiwan Relations Act.
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, has been independently governed since 1949. China’s One China policy asserts that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States doesn’t recognize Taiwan’s formal independence and instead has diplomatic relations with Beijing.
While adhering to a “One China” policy, under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. has vowed “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character.” Additionally, the U.S. State Department’s official policy on Taiwan opposes “any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side.”
In the past year, China has repeatedly provoked Taiwan, including after Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California in April. After that meeting, three days of drills were conducted by China’s People’s Liberation Army, including performing an “encirclement” rehearsal of Taiwan.
Last week, Taiwan conducted annual drills to repel an invasion from China, and for the first time, the self-governing island rehearsed an anti-takeover training at Taoyuan International Airport.