Taiwan’s former defense minister Feng: unthinkable price to pay for U.S. aid

Taiwan will pay an “unthinkable” price if it accepts free U.S. military aid, former Taiwanese Defense Minister Feng Shikuan said.

Earlier, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said that the U.S. would soon provide significant defense assistance to Taiwan. Bloomberg News Agency earlier reported, citing sources, that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration plans to supply $500 million worth of arms to Taiwan, using the same emergency powers that were used against Ukraine.

“If you suddenly get such free aid, you have to pay a certain unthinkable price,” the South China Morning Post quoted Feng Shikuan as saying.

The publication specifies that Feng Shikuan refused to explain what exactly this price would be. However, when asked if he was referring to war, Feng Shikuan said:

“I’m sure we won’t be that stupid and that there will be some choice.”

China has repeatedly called on the U.S. to stop selling weapons to Taiwan and creating tension in the Taiwan Strait. China’s Foreign Ministry pointed out that U.S.-Taiwan military interaction and Washington’s arms sales to Taipei grossly violate the “one China” principle and the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués as well as “greatly damage China’s sovereignty and security interests” and endanger stability in the Taiwan Strait.

As the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated, “the facts show that the reason for the new round of tensions in the Taiwan Strait is that the island authorities are again trying to achieve independence, relying on the United States, and some American politicians want to take control of the PRC with the help of Taiwan, together they try to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, this is a very dangerous trend.” China has repeatedly stated that it will certainly “take decisive and effective measures to protect its sovereignty and security interests.

The situation around Taiwan deteriorated significantly after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August of last year. China, which considers the island one of its provinces, condemned Pelosi’s visit, seeing in it the U.S. support for Taiwan separatism, and held large-scale military exercises.

Official relations between the central government of the PRC and its island province broke down in 1949 after the defeated Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek had moved to Taiwan in the civil war with the Communist Party of China. Business and informal contacts between the island and mainland China resumed in the late 1980s. Since the early 1990s, the two sides have been in contact through nongovernmental organizations – the Beijing Association for the Advancement of Relations across the Taiwan Strait and the Taipei Cross-Strait Exchange Foundation.

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