U.S. approves 1 billion euro arms package for Taiwan

The U.S. State Department on Friday approved the sale of an arms package valued at €1.1 billion destined for Taiwan.

The Biden Administration has formally notified Congress of three packages for the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP) and military equipment. This material includes up to 60 AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and four ATM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II exercise missiles. In addition, Washington will provide 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles and four AIM-9X Block II tactical guidance units.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has explained that this sale comes after the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) made the purchase request.

As the missive reads, these sales are in line with “U.S. law and policy” on Taiwan. “This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continued efforts to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the Pentagon has communicated.

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“The proposed sale will help improve the recipient’s security and help maintain political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region,” the U.S. Defense Department spokesman has added.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry expressed gratitude Saturday morning for the agreement with the Biden Administration to obtain 1 billion euros worth of weapons.

“We are grateful that the US is providing us with the means to enhance our ability to deal with current and future threats,” the Taiwanese portfolio said in a Twitter message.

For its part, the Chinese Embassy in the US country has reacted to the move by calling on Washington to revoke the arms sale because it “jeopardizes” the two countries’ relationship.

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If not, Beijing will take “legitimate and necessary countermeasures in light of the development of the situation,” said spokesman Liu Pengyu.

This Thursday, Taiwan shot down for the first time an allegedly Chinese drone that had been flying in the island’s airspace. Earlier, the United States sent two Navy warships to the Taiwan Strait for the first time since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.

Shortly after the shipping operation was unveiled, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has confirmed a new approach of Chinese Army warships and fighter jets to its maritime and air security zone, as has become common in recent months.

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