The US is getting ready to promote seven packages of weapons programs to Taiwan, a congressional aide informed CNN, saying it was unclear when the Congress can be formally notified in regards to the gross sales, as is required by regulation.A US official mentioned that the administration will quickly formally approve a big sale of MQ-9B Reaper drones. The value of the drones and related gear and program assist is estimated to be about $600 million.Two sources informed CNN that the sale contains anti-ship missiles.”As a matter of coverage we don’t touch upon or affirm proposed protection gross sales or transfers till they’ve been formally notified to Congress,” a State Division spokesperson mentioned.The Pentagon declined to touch upon the proposed sale.Washington has lengthy supplied arms to the island underneath the phrases of the 40-year-old Taiwan Relations Act.Beijing has continuously chafed at these gross sales, calling them a violation of China’s sovereignty. The nation’s Communist authorities views Taiwan as a part of its territory, although the 2 have been ruled individually for the reason that finish of a bloody civil conflict in 1949.However there was a rise in arms gross sales to Taiwan through the Trump administration because the US has grown nearer to the nation.The Trump administration has beforehand authorized a number of main arms gross sales to Taiwan valued at greater than $13 billion in whole, together with dozens of F-16 fighter jets, M1A2T Abrams tanks, transportable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes.”I want to thank the US authorities for supporting the enhancement of Taiwan’s self protection capabilities. prior to now 4 years the Trump administration has authorized seven arms gross sales package deal to Taiwan totaling $13.2 billion, trying forward we are going to additional develop and bolster indigenous protection and asymmetrical warfare capabilities,” Taiwan’s Overseas Minister Overseas Minister Joseph Wu mentioned Tuesday throughout a digital deal with to the World Taiwan Institute Annual Symposium in Washington.”Confronted with the Chinese language communist regime, Taiwan is on the frontlines defending democracies,” Wu added.One congressional aide mentioned mentioned that “arms gross sales to Taiwan will not be provocations, however a response to the (Chinese language Communist Get together’s) rising belligerence.”One other excessive profile US visitThere have additionally been a number of excessive profile diplomatic visits by members of the Trump administration to Taipei, together with by the Secretary of Well being and Human Providers Alex Azar, the best rating cupboard official to go to the island in many years.On Wednesday the State Division introduced that the Underneath Secretary of State for Financial Development, Power, and the Atmosphere Keith Krach will journey to Taiwan to attend the memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday. Krach would be the highest rating State Division official to go to Taiwan in years.China’s chief, President Xi Jinping, has been mentioned he goals to “reunify” the island with the mainland, and has refused to rule out the usage of drive, despite the fact that the ruling Chinese language Communist Get together has by no means really managed Taiwan.Taiwanese officers have accused China of ramping up army exercise close to Taiwan in an effort to place strain on Taipei, together with flying Chinese language fighter jets throughout the unofficial boundary dividing the Taiwan strait throughout Azar’s go to to Taipei.Taiwan is ramping up its protection spending as a part of an effort to counter the menace from Beijing.In 2019 Taiwan’s protection price range was $10.9 billion in comparison with an official Chinese language protection price range of $174 billion. A current Protection Division report on China’s army mentioned that China’s army modernization efforts has helped it make strides in overcoming the challenges of mounting an invasion of Taiwan whereas noting that Taipei can also be in search of to enhance its army posture to allow it to thrust back any assault.The US has lengthy sought to get Taiwan to put money into programs that would supply it an uneven benefit over an invading Chinese language drive versus extra typical programs like battle tanks that may be extra simply focused in an preliminary offensive salvo.And whereas the Trump administration has pushed to spice up arms gross sales to Taiwan it’s unclear whether or not that coverage would proceed ought to former Vice President Joe Biden win the election in November.The Obama administration additionally offered arms to Taiwan however resisted promoting some programs, together with upgraded F-16 fighter jets, a sale that the Trump administration went on to approve.