Tell Congress to Block the Sale of
$750 Million Worth of Weapons to Taiwan!
(August 20, 2021) — As we all witnessed in Afghanistan this week, war is never the answer. After 42 years of US involvement in Afghanistan at the cost of $2+ Trillion and 50,000+ Afghan civilian lives, with little to show in terms of real progress for the country, we must recognize that war should never be used as a tool to address regional tensions or human rights concerns.
President Biden’s State Department has approved the administration’s first major arms sale to Taiwan. The $750 Million dollar deal would equip Taiwan’s military with 40 self-propelled howitzer systems, 5 M2 armored vehicles with .50-caliber mounted machine guns, nearly 1,700 GPS-guided munition kits, and other assorted weapons systems and US Government support services.
Congress now has less than 30 days left to block this massive arms deal that would send more dangerous and polluting weapons into the Asia-Pacific region, inflaming tensions and increasing the potential for armed conflict and even nuclear war with China. Our swift actions at CODEPINK, with your support, have recently convinced many members of Congress to oppose increased militarism in the administration’s proposed infrastructure bill — now we have another window of opportunity to oppose intensified militarism and catastrophic forever wars!
Given China’s overwhelming military superiority over Taiwan, more weapons will do nothing to enhance Taiwan’s self-defense; instead they will further deepen Taiwan’s military reliance on the US, making US involvement in a future China-Taiwan clash increasingly likely — especially if the anti-China EAGLE Act (H.R. 3524) adds hypersonic weapons to Taiwan’s arsenal.
Sending more weapons to Taiwan will surely upset Chinese leaders, further sabotaging opportunities for much-needed cooperation on climate change, pandemic relief, nuclear nonproliferation, and other issues of common concern.
Furthermore, this arms sale undermines China’s sovereignty and violates the Three Joint US-China Communiqués of 1972, 1979, and 1982 that form the bedrock of US-China-Taiwan relations. These communiqués established Washington’s “One China” policy that recognizes that Taiwan is a part of China, guaranteed non-interference in China’s internal affairs, and committed the US to reducing the sale of sophisticated arms to Taiwan.
These policies have kept peace in the region for 40 years; selling advanced arms to Taiwan at this point will only make war — possibly nuclear war — ever more likely.
Dear Member of Congress,
I am writing to you today as a concerned citizen urging you to block the US Department of Defense’s foreign military sale of $750 million dollars worth of weapons systems, artillery, military equipment, and services to Taiwan. The sale includes 40 M109A6 self-propelled howitzer systems, 5 M2 Chrysler Mount armored vehicles with .50-caliber machine guns, nearly 1,700 kits to enable GPS-guided munitions, and other assorted weapons systems. The deal also includes US Government and contractor technical, engineering, logistical, and program support services.
Using and even just transporting these weapons to Taiwan will cause more environmental destruction and contribute to climate change. In addition to the dire and direct humanitarian impact of war, the ongoing climate catastrophe that U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres recently called a ‘code red for humanity‘ after the UN released its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report should be reason enough for the US government to stop investing in and profiting from militarism and war.
Furthermore, this sale of weapons to Taiwan violates the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiqués — specifically, the US’s official “One China” policy recognizing Taiwan as part of China, the agreement by the US not to interfere in China’s sovereignty and internal affairs, and the US’s pledge to reduce its sale of sophisticated arms to Taiwan. These policies have kept peace in the region for 40 years; selling advanced arms to Taiwan at this point will only make war — possibly nuclear war — ever more likely.
China’s Foreign Ministry has called this proposed arms sale a violation of China’s sovereignty that sends the wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, seriously damages Sino-US relations, and threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Moreover, sending more weapons to Taiwan will surely upset Chinese leaders, making the much-needed cooperation on climate change, pandemic relief, nuclear nonproliferation and other issues of common concern increasingly difficult.
These arms sales inflame tensions between Taiwan, China, and the United States, increasing the chances of an escalation of violence due to miscommunications or accidents that could easily result in the complete destruction of the island of Taiwan.
Given China’s overwhelming military superiority over Taiwan, more weapons will do nothing to enhance Taiwan’s self-defense; instead they will further deepen Taiwan’s military reliance on the US making US involvement in a future China-Taiwan clash increasingly likely. Any increased hostility and aggression could very likely lead to a kinetic US war on China, which risks becoming a nuclear war, as the US has previously considered nuclear warfare against China to defend Taiwan during the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958.
Instead of ensuring peace as the State Department suggests, this sale of weapons makes violence, death, destruction, environmental damage, and kinetic and nuclear warfare more likely in the Taiwan Strait and in the Asia-Pacific region more broadly. In the interest of peace, prosperity, and the survival of our planet, we urge that you block this and any other sale of weapons and military equipment to Taiwan.
Rather than provoking China and violating its sovereignty with this arms sale, the US should respect its prior agreements made in The Three Communiqués and cooperate with China on the most pressing crises of our time: climate change, the ongoing pandemic, and nuclear proliferation.
While this may be the first arms sale to Taiwan from the Biden administration, it won’t be the last — unless we let Congress know that the people of the US are against the death, military pollution, destruction, and displacement caused by being the world’s leading arms dealer.
Onward toward peace,
Madison, Jodie, RJ, and the CODEPINK China Is Not Our Enemy campaign
ACTION: Read about our petition to PBS asking them to stop censoring the truth about China here.