Taiwan has expressed gratitude after the United States approved an arms sale to Taipei that would be the largest since Donald Trump took over as US president, saying it shows Washington’s support in the face of growing military threats from mainland China.
The sale of equipment worth US$2.2 billion was approved by the US State Department on Monday, said the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon agency handling foreign arms sales.
The Taipei government’s foreign ministry said the approved sale underlined the US’ support, especially with Beijing repeatedly staging war games to intimidate the self-ruled island and sabotage peace and stability in the region.
“The second sale of arms to Taiwan [this year] is strong proof of the robust support of the US government for Taiwan and its defence need,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The equipment to be sold includes 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stringer missiles and related equipment.
“Situated in the frontline of China’s expanding military ambition, and facing its persistent pressure and threat, our purchase of M1A2T tanks, missiles and other equipment is highly significant and helpful in upgrading our defence capability,” the Taipei foreign ministry said.
The US agency said the sale “would not alter the basic military balance in the region”, adding that it had notified Congress on Monday of the potential sale, which would also include mounted machine guns, ammunition, Hercules armoured vehicles for recovering inoperative tanks, heavy equipment transporters and related support.
The latest approved sale – the fourth since Trump took over as president in 2017 – is expected to enrage the Beijing government, which has repeatedly warned other countries, especially the US, against forging ties with or selling arms to Taiwan.
Washington does not have official ties with Taiwan since it switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, but it has maintained close ties with the island and has been its principal arms supplier over the years.
Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province that must return to the mainland fold, by force if necessary. It has been upset by the US’ arms and strategic support for the island in countering Beijing’s military expansion since Trump became president.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.