The United States has agreed to sell $2 billion in weapons to Taiwan, a move that’s consistent with U.S. obligations to the island and yet will still complicate ties with China. While the decision will boost Taiwan’s defense, it’s also an important statement of U.S. commitment at a time when powerful countervailing winds are blowing. The U.S. should remain resolute in its defense of Taiwan, a signal to China and the region that it remains a force for peace and order in Asia.
The U.S. is proposing the sale of $2.2 billion in weapons, among them 108 Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles and related equipment and support such as Hercules armored vehicles and heavy equipment transporters. The State Department says the weapons will help Taiwan “meet current and future regional threats” and enhance its ability to operate with the U.S. and other partners. While the U.S. agreed to sell $500 million in F-16 parts and training earlier this year, this is the first large-scale weapons sale to Taiwan since 2011.