Wednesday. 08.02.2023
TENSIONS WITH CHINA

US approves arms sales to Taiwan worth 1 billion dollars

The potential deal comes at a time of tension between Taiwan's ally the US and its neighbour China.

10 October 2020, Taiwan, Taipeh: Taiwanese fighter jets fly over the Presidential Office building during celebrations of the National Day of the Republic of China (ROC). Photo: Brennan O'connor/dpa.
Taiwanese fighter jets fly over the Presidential Office building during celebrations of the National Day. Photo: Brennan O'connor/dpa.

The US has approved the sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan worth just over 1 billion dollars, in a move likely to rile China.

The US State Department has authorized sales to Taipei of 135 SLAM-ER precision land attack missiles as well as related equipment, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a Wednesday statement.

"This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability," the agency wrote.

The sale would also improve the buyer's security and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and progress in the region, the statement added.

"The recipient will be able to employ a highly reliable and effective system to increase their warfighting effectiveness as needed, which can counter or deter aggressions by demonstrated precision against surface targets," the statement added.

The potential deal comes at a time of tension between Taiwan's ally the US and its neighbour China.

Democratic island

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's administration on Thursday expressed its appreciation to the US, saying the arms sale will significantly boost Taiwan’s confidence and capabilities to pursue peace and stability in the region.

"The sale helps improve Taiwan’s solid national defense capabilities, and modernize defensive combat capabilities," Taiwan's Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang said in a statement.

It also helps upgrade Taiwan’s capabilities to deal with military expansion from the other side of the Taiwan Strait, Chang said. The 180-kilometre-wide strait separates Taiwan from mainland China.

US approves arms sales to Taiwan worth 1 billion dollars
Comments