The U.S. is manufacturing sophisticated drones with the surveillance of 6,000 nautical miles. Now the U.S. is negotiating with Taiwan to sell drones. Taiwan is expecting at least 4 sophisticated drones. The current Taiwan drones have surveillance of 160-mile range, which is not even near to the U.S. sophisticated drones.
If Taiwan gets four drones from the U.S., then they can peer into china and observe their military airforce and missile activities. These drones from the U.S. are unmanned. But there is no clarity if the U.S. will sell the drones with weapons attached to it. The deal must be signed by congress to produce drones to Taiwan. Two members of the team stated that this export might be blocked by congress. There is new legislation passed by the U.S. senators stating that the sales are not allowed to NATO members New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Israel because these countries are not close to the allies of the U.S.
If this sale happened, this would be the first drone sale under the administration of President Donald Trump. Taiwan is waiting for the deal to happen. It sent the request to the U.S. in advance and got a price data and the list of available drones for sale. Taiwan had a reinforcement of the defense equipment mostly from the U.S. hardware. So they are looking forward to having this deal successful.
But this step by Taiwan may make China angry against them. Already Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin opposed these kinds of agreements between the U.S. and Taiwan. Even though China has numerous defense equipment, they are still adding so many advanced types of equipment like stealthy fighters, Aircraft carriers, and anti-satellite machines.
The new equipment requested by Taiwan includes four sophisticated U.S. drones, spare, ground stations, support, and training. That may cost around $600 million for Taiwan, but they are still looking forward to the deal. Taiwan is spending more to build strong defense equipment, including submarines from the last decade.
If the U.S. Congress accepts the deal, then the Trump administration may seek the Navy warships to keep pace through Taiwan strait. The U.S. is looking forward to making this sale happen. The previous year, they already did a deal of selling 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams tanks to Taiwan. It is a deal of $2 billion, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions. Taiwan and the U.S. also made another deal of 66 Lockheed Martin-made fighter jets in the previous year.
Beijing is already disappointed with the Trump support for Taiwan. Bonnie Glaser, the director of the China Power Project at CSIS, stated that “China to scream about even the smallest arms sale that the U.S. makes to Taiwan because any sale challenges the ‘One China’ principle they get particularly agitated if they think it’s an offensive capability.”