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US approves first military financing package for Taiwan

The total value of notified Foreign Military Sales to Taiwan over the past five years is about USD20 billion. (US Defense Security Cooperation Agency/Janes)

The Biden administration has approved the United States' first Foreign Military Financing (FMF) package for Taiwan, a State Department official has told Janes.

The official said the FMF transfer is worth USD80 million, adding that Congress was notified of the administration's intent to supply the assistance on 29 August.

The State Department official did not disclose what military equipment will be procured through the FMF funding. The official said the funds would support Taiwan military acquisitions channelled through the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism.

“The United States has provided FMS to Taiwan for decades,” the State Department official told Janes.

“FMF simply enables eligible partners to purchase US defence articles, services, and training through either FMS or, for a limited number of partners, through the foreign military financing of direct commercial contracts programme.”

The official added that the decision does not reflect any change in the US government's ‘One China' policy towards China. “We do not support Taiwan independence,” the official said.

News reports said the FMF assistance for Taiwan would support the strengthening of Taiwan's self-defence capabilities through joint and combined defence capability and enhanced maritime domain awareness and maritime security capability.

Specific items that could reportedly be sold to Taiwan with the funds include air-defence systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and anti-tank munitions.

FMF, which is authorised by the State Department and administered through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), is the US' primary tool to provide military assistance to foreign governments to procure US equipment mainly through the FMS programme.

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