The US State Department approved the sale to Taiwan of military equipment worth $1.1 billion, again provoking China’s ire, after threatening Washington with “retaliation” if it goes ahead with its plans.
“THE China will resolutely take legal and necessary countermeasures,” warned Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu.
The package includes 100 Sidewinder missiles to intercept enemy missiles and drones ($85.6 million), 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($355 million), and support for Taiwan’s radar system ($665 million ), states the US State Department in a statement.
The announcement came in the wake of Chinese military exercises around Taiwan following a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month – the highest-ranking US official to travel to Taipei in recent years. The tension was further escalated with the passage, on August 28, of two of his ships US Navy from international waters in its Straits Taiwan.
Following State Department approval, the arms sale must receive congressional approval, which is considered almost certain.
“We call on Beijing to cease military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taipei and instead engage in dialogue” with it, a State Department spokesman said, adding that “the United States continues to support a peaceful resolution of the issue, consistent with wishes and in the interests of the people of Taiwan.”