The US has given the go-ahead for the sale of $1.1 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan.
Two Chinese fighter jets today crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, which is the physical unofficial border between Taiwan and China, the Defense Ministry said in Taipei.
According to the same announcement, a total of four Chinese aircraft and five Chinese ships were spotted operating around Taiwan.
China has been conducting military exercises near Taiwan, which Beijing claims as Chinese territory, with tensions escalating since early last month.
US to send arms worth 1.1 billion to Taiwan – Fury in China
The US State Department has approved the potential sale of $1.1 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan. The equipment includes 100 Sidewinder missiles to intercept enemy missiles and drones ($85.6 million) as well as 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($355 million) and support for Taiwan’s radar system ($665 million) ).
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 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.
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.”
China considers Taiwan part of its territory, while Taipei maintains that Beijing never ruled the island and has no right to claim it.
China’s reaction is intense, threatening countermeasures
The Chinese government has threatened the US with “retaliation” if it goes ahead with the new arms sale to Taiwan, which the State Department has approved.
“China will resolutely take legal and necessary countermeasures,” warned Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington.
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