Biden to ask US Congress to approve $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan

Joe Biden’s Administration plans to present before Congress a formal request to sell Taiwan an arms package valued at 1.1 billion dollars, at a time when tensions with China are on the rise, after Washington’s maneuvers to strengthen ties with Taipei, despite protests from Beijing, which considers the island part of its territory.

The plan, which is still in its initial phase, includes some 60 anti-ship missiles — valued at 335 million dollars –, 100 air-to-air missiles — priced at around 85.6 million dollars — and a surveillance radar system costing 665 million dollars, according to sources to which the U.S. newspaper Politico has had access.

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The news comes at a time when China has stepped up its military exercises in the region in response to recent official visits to Taiwan by several U.S. policymakers in the past month, the most significant of which was that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

While the proceedings could be delayed for a while due to the current congressional recess, it is likely that Democrats and Republicans will agree to give the green light to the plan, at a time when Washington claims that with each passing day the possibility grows that China will opt to take the island by force.

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Although the United States has maintained its adherence to the 1979 law recognizing one China and thus leaving Taiwan’s sovereignty in the hands of the Asian giant, in recent years it has clung to ambiguity to avoid pronouncing itself on whether it would defend the island militarily against a hypothetical invasion by Beijing.

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