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Biden's fiscal 2025 budget includes request for Taiwan

03/12/2024 12:34 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Washington, March 11 (CNA) The 2025 budget proposal released by the White House on Monday includes a US$100 million request to assist Taiwan in strengthening deterrence and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The funding would provide resources to the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen and expand Taiwan's collaboration with international partners, the State Department said in a news release.

The State Department described the proposed US$100 million in funding as an "historic investment in Taiwan's security" through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) mechanism "to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

The request comes after U.S. President Joe Biden signed off on a US$80 million grant through the FMF in November 2023 to bolster Taiwan's military capabilities.

When asked why the department described the funding as "historic," Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma said it meant there would be a dedicated funding item for Taiwan.

"We break out Taiwan for the first time and have a specific line item for it. It reaffirms our commitment to security assistance for Taiwan and to a free and open Indo-Pacific. I think it's very clear. I think it stands on its own," Verma said.

On whether the US$100 million includes funding for a permanent training mission by U.S. Special Forces troops in Taiwan, Verma said he did not think so, saying it was just "traditional security assistance."

"There's also IMET assistance. And again, you have to read that together with the totality of our assistance in the Indo-Pacific Strategy and the new mandatory funding we've also added," he said.

IMET stands for International Military Education and Training, which is a program that establishes a rapport between the U.S. military and other countries' militaries to build alliances for the future.

In a separate budget overview released by the U.S. Department of Defense, its 2025 fiscal budget proposal includes a US$500 million request to replenish U.S. weapons stocks in Taiwan through Presidential Drawdown Authority, which takes weapons from existing Pentagon stocks and ships them overseas.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Ko Lin)

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