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US Approves Potential $1.1bn Weapons Sale to Taiwan
By Staff, Agencies
The United States has approved the potential sale of $1.1bn in weapons to Taiwan, the Pentagon announced, in a move that will likely worsen already heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The Pentagon said on Friday that the arms package would include 60 anti-ship missiles, 100 air-to-air missiles and contractor logistics support for a surveillance radar program.
US news outlet Politico first reported earlier this week on the potential US weapons deal. While Congress can still disapprove the sale, it is unlikely to do so as US lawmakers from both major parties strongly support Taiwan.
A spokesperson for the US State Department, which approved the sale, said the package was “essential for Taiwan’s security.”
“These proposed sales are routine cases to support Taiwan’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the spokesperson said.
The Pentagon’s announcement comes amid strained relations between the US and China, which has not ruled out the use of force to take control of Taiwan, a self-governed island that China views as part of its territory.
China called on Friday for the United States to “immediately revoke” the arms sales.
Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said Beijing would respond.
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