Loopholes exploited by U.S. to sell weapons to Taiwan

Agencies responsible for the purchase of U.S. military weapons investigate possible cases of corruption

愛國者三型。(Photo courtesy of NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Details surrounding the purchase of weapons from the United States (U.S.) emerged earlier this week after it was confirmed that the U.S. was initially not aware of the sale when Taiwan first announced the purchase.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on July 9 that the sale of  MIM-104 Patriot missiles (愛國者三型) to Taiwan totaling US$620 million (NT$18.2 billion).

The purchase would allow Taiwan to acquire the updated Patriot Advanced Capability- 3 (PAC-3) missile.

When news of the purchase broke, the Ministry of National Defense (MND, 國防部) along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA,外交部) expressed their gratitude to the U.S.

According to Chinese-language media, the Minister of National Defense, the Air Force Command and several high ranking military officials were involved in the negotiation process.

However, when the purchase was first announced, the U.S. was not aware of the purchase and had not approved the sale.

After a review, the government found out that the Air Force Air Defense and Missile Command (空軍防空飛彈指揮部) regarded this purchase as a maintenance fee and thus purchased the weapons through the Ministry of National Defense.

Through a system of loopholes, a letter of request was issued to the U.S. to inquire about a purchase without the approval of high ranking officials.

The relevant agencies are now investigating the purchase as it has drawn the attention of high-level officials in Taiwan. Based on investigators, there has been no evidence of corruption.