Potential sale of anti-ship and air-to-air missiles to Taiwan comes amid heightened tensions between US and China.
The US has accredited the potential sale of $1.1bn in weapons to Taiwan, the Pentagon introduced, in a transfer that can probably worsen already heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The Pentagon’s Protection Safety Cooperation Company mentioned on Friday that the arms bundle would come with 60 anti-ship missiles, 100 air-to-air missiles and contractor logistics assist for a surveillance radar programme.
US information outlet Politico first reported earlier this week on the potential US weapons deal. Whereas Congress can nonetheless disapprove the sale, it’s unlikely to take action as US lawmakers from each main events strongly assist Taiwan.
A spokesperson for the US Division of State, which accredited the sale, mentioned the bundle was “important for Taiwan’s safety”.
“These proposed gross sales are routine instances to assist Taiwan’s persevering with efforts to modernise its armed forces and to take care of a reputable defensive functionality,” the spokesperson mentioned.
The Pentagon’s announcement comes amid strained relations between the US and China, which has not dominated out using pressure to take management of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China views as a part of its territory.
The US is certain by legislation to offer Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and President Joe Biden has mentioned Washington would use pressure to defend the island whether it is attacked.
The connection between Washington and Beijing has deteriorated previously few years because the US prioritised strategic competitors with China in its overseas coverage beneath former President Donald Trump, a place absolutely embraced by Biden.
In the meantime, China has warned the Biden administration that it’s “enjoying with fireplace” over Taiwan.
China staged unprecedented navy drills within the sea and air across the island following a contentious go to final month by US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Beijing had threatened “critical penalties” if Pelosi – the very best rating US official to journey to Taiwan in 25 years – went forward along with her go to.
On Thursday, Taiwan’s navy mentioned that it shot down an unidentified civilian drone that entered its airspace close to the outlying Kinmen islands, which sit subsequent door to China’s Xiamen metropolis.
Whereas China accused Taiwan of making an attempt to “hype up tensions” over the incident, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang defended the navy’s actions as “applicable” after repeated warnings.
Su advised reporters that Taiwan had repeatedly requested China “to not encroach on our doorstep”.
“They repeatedly ignored our warnings to depart and we had no alternative however to train self-defence and shoot,” Su mentioned. “That is probably the most applicable response after repeated restraint and warnings.”
The US State Division spokesperson mentioned on Friday that Washington “will proceed to assist a peaceable decision of cross-Strait points, in line with the needs and finest pursuits of the individuals on Taiwan”.
“We urge Beijing to stop its navy, diplomatic and financial strain towards Taiwan and as a substitute interact in significant dialogue with Taiwan,” the spokesperson mentioned.