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US military slammed for aid to Taiwan

By ZHANG YI | | Updated: 2023-07-31 01:10
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The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, China's Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan is increasing the risk of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait by seeking support from the United States, a Chinese mainland spokesman said on Saturday over the recent US announcement of military aid for the island.

In a statement, Chen Binhua, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, expressed Beijing's strong opposition to the US arming Taiwan after it was reported that the White House had announced on Friday that the US would provide Taiwan with military assistance worth up to $345 million.

Chen said that the DPP authorities stubbornly adhere to their separatist agenda and constantly seek US military aid, aiming to achieve "Taiwan independence" through force.

"These actions are turning Taiwan into a 'powder keg' and exacerbating the risk of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait. If the DPP authorities continue on this path, the younger generation in Taiwan will only become 'cannon fodder'," he said.

Emphasizing that "Taiwan independence" is a dead end, Chen denounced the DPP authorities for spending the Taiwan people's tax contributions to buy arms from the US. Even so, they cannot shake Beijing's firm determination to resolve the Taiwan question and achieve complete reunification of the motherland, he said.

According to media reports, the US arms assistance to Taiwan will be delivered under the Presidential Drawdown Authority. Through the US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, the US Congress authorized up to $1 billion worth of weapons aid for Taiwan using the drawdown, a fast-track authority that has been exercised a number of times to send arms to Ukraine. Using a drawdown will let the US sidestep the often-lengthy process of contracting and producing weapons.

The White House announcement said the aid going to Taiwan will include "defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training", but didn't specify what weapons will be provided. On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill, titled "Taiwan International Solidarity Act", which is aimed at supporting the island's participation in international organizations.

Taiwan's pro-reunification Labor Party said in a statement on Saturday that the legislation revealed the malicious intentions of the US to manipulate international relations without any political integrity.

"For the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, we should reject foreign interference in the Taiwan Strait, and refuse to be a pawn of hegemony. The peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait should be maintained by the Chinese people on both sides," the statement said.

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