WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, yesterday praised the president’s announcement of a planned arms package to Taiwan. Totaling $1.83 billion, this is the first major sale of U.S. weapons to Taiwan in four years.
“I strongly support this sale to Taiwan and look forward to doing more in the coming years,” Inhofe said. “Taiwan is a great friend and ally. We share common values and beliefs, as well as commitments to democracy, free trade and security. Moving forward, I encourage the administration to consider the resumption of a regular and routine process for the provision of security assistance to Taiwan, in order to maintain Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities.”
“I have long-supported efforts to help Taiwan – our close friend and ally -- modernize its military to meet its self-defense needs,” Senator Menendez said. “I’m pleased that the Administration is moving forward with this much-needed sale, and I will continue to advocate for more meaningful and material assistance. A strong, vibrant and democratic Taiwan is in the United States’ national interests.”
This package is an important step toward fulfilling the United States’ commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). It includes items such as two Perry-class frigates, Javelin anti-tank missiles, TOW 2B anti-tank missiles, AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, follow-on work for Taiwan's Syun-An C4ISR systems, Link 11/Link 16 for Taiwan's naval ships, F-16 MIDS/NTAMS/Fuzes, Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems and Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Section 3(b) of the TRA stipulates that both the president and Congress shall determine the nature and quantity of defense articles and services based solely upon their judgement of the needs of Taiwan.