UNITED STATES: With China vowing to retaliate, the US State Department has authorised a potential $1.1 billion sale of military hardware to Taiwan, including 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles.
- The US will give Taiwan $1.1 billion worth of military hardware.
- China threatened to retaliate when the judgement was made.
- Following US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, tensions between Taiwan and China grew worse.
- A possibility has received approval from the US State Department.
Following China’s aggressive military exercises near Taiwan and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip there last month—the highest-ranking US official to visit Taipei in years—the Pentagon unveiled the package on Friday.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the sale includes Sidewinder missiles, which can be used for air-to-air and surface-attack missions, for about $85.6 million; Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which are estimated to cost $355 million; and support for Taiwan’s surveillance radar programme, which is estimated to cost $665.4 million.
The potential transfer of arms, according to Liu Pengyu, spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, “seriously jeopardises China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
According to the evolution of the situation, China “would resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures,” he declared.
The administration of President Joe Biden stated that the package has been under consideration for some time and was created in conjunction with parliamentarians from Taiwan and the US.
According to Laura Rosenberger, senior director for China and Taiwan at the White House, “We’re giving Taiwan what it needs to maintain its self-defence capabilities as the PRC continues to increase pressure on Taiwan, including through heightened military air and maritime presence around Taiwan, and engages in attempts to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.”
The weaponry and assistance announced on Friday, according to the Pentagon, won’t change the overall military balance in the area. They did not represent a shift in policy toward Taiwan, according to US officials.
A US Department of State spokeswoman said, seeking anonymity, “These proposed sales are regular cases to assist Taiwan’s continuous efforts to modernise its armed forces and to retain a credible defence capability.”
Taiwan’s defence ministry thanked China and noted that its recent “provocative” actions posed a serious threat. It also stated that the arms sale would help Taiwan resist Chinese military pressure.
The ministry released a statement in which it stated that the agreement “demonstrates that it would help our country develop its comprehensive defence capabilities and jointly preserve the security and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region.”
The US-Taiwan Business Council’s president, Rupert Hammond-Chambers, stated that his organisation was against what he called a “limited approach” to arm Taiwan.
The island faces a variety of dangers that call for a variety of capabilities, as the (China’s) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently showed in its simulated blockade. By preventing Taiwan from mounting a complete defence, the PLA will gradually find new openings in Taiwan’s defences, according to a statement from Hammond-Chambers.
The directive shows that the US is still standing by Taiwan in the face of pressure from China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and has never ruled out using force to seize control of the island that is democratically run.
Boeing Co. is the main manufacturer of the Harpoon missiles. The Sidewinders and the radar programmes’ main contractor is Raytheon.
According to Taipei, the People’s Republic of China has no legal claim to the island because it was never a part of its territory.