US State Dept. approves $1.1 billion in military sales to Taiwan

Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency (AA)

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of $1.1 billion worth of missiles, radar system and related equipment to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Friday.

The largest sum of the sale includes the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP) and related equipment for an estimated $665.4 million, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

It includes 60 AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II Missiles and related equipment for $355 million and 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles and four AIM-9X Block II tactical Guidance Units and related equipment for $85.6 million.

Congress has been notified about the possible sale, said the agency. The requests were made by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, or TECRO.

The sales will improve Taiwan’s capability to meet current and future threats and help increase its warfighting effectiveness and augment existing surface and air defenses, the agency said in a statement.

Ties between Washington and Beijing have frayed significantly in recent weeks following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which was conducted in spite of repeated warnings from China.

China viewed the trip as a threat to its claims of sovereignty on the island, which has ruled itself since 1949. China views Taiwan as a “breakaway province,” and has vowed to reunify it, including by force if necessary.

China also repeatedly conducted military exercises surrounding Taiwan that included missile launches and mass deployments of ships and aircraft.

Apart from the show of military might, Beijing has downgraded military dialogue with the US and suspended cooperation on climate change issues, along with six other countermeasures.

-AA

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