Jul 9, 2019

State Department approves $2.2 billion Taiwan arms sale plan

A U.S. M1A2 SEP Abrams battle tank. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Congress has been notified that the State Department has approved a potential $2.2 billion sale of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment to Taiwan, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: Reuters notes China’s Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. last month when the move was first reported to halt such sales to avoid harming bilateral ties. China regards the self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province. It's become a flashpoint in the U.S.-China relationship. The announcement comes as trade tensions between the 2 countries have been ratcheting down.

Go deeper

China slams U.S., says it's open to using force to reunify Taiwan

China's Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian at a news conference in Beijing. Photo: AP Photo/Andy Wong

China criticizes the U.S. for undermining global stability and says it won't "renounce use of force" against Taiwan in a defense white paper published on Wednesday.

Details: Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news conference if "anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity," according to AP. The white paper states "we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked."

Go deeperArrowJul 24, 2019

U.S. warship in Taiwan Strait as trade talks set to resume with China

The U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from China Wednesday, Reuters reports — hours after China warned it hadn't ruled out using force to reunify the island nation with the mainland.

Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, and this incident comes as American and Chinese officials are due to restart trade talks, per Bloomberg. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to the self-ruled Taiwan — which China regards as a breakaway province.

Go deeperArrowJul 25, 2019

Taiwan striving to keep Caribbean allies beyond China's reach

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei. Photo: Ashley Pon/Getty Images

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's tour through the Caribbean reflects Taiwan's imperative to reinforce relationships with allies vulnerable to poaching by China.

The big picture: Only 17 countries continue to recognize Taiwan instead of the People’s Republic of China, and the majority are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tsai's 10-day trip follows 2 years of bad news, as Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic have all broken decades-long diplomatic ties with Taipei in order to extend official ties to Beijing.

Go deeperArrowJul 22, 2019