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WASHINGTON—The Trump administration has approved the sale of more than a billion dollars worth of advanced weaponry for Taiwan in a move that will enrage China and further exacerbate tensions between Washington and Beijing that have are already heated over issues such as trade, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.
The State Department announced Wednesday it had greenlighted the sale of 135 precision land attack missiles, associated equipment, and training to Taiwan to improve its defense capabilities. The package is worth just over a billion dollars, it said in a statement. The missiles are made by Boeing.
“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” it said in a statement. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability” as well as military balance and economic progress in the region.
“The recipient will be able to employ a highly reliable and effective system to increase their warfighting effectiveness as needed, which can counter or deter aggressions by demonstrated precision against surface targets,” it said.
Taiwan has thanked the United States for its support as it faces escalating rhetoric of war from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Trump administration has stepped up military and diplomatic support for Taiwan in recent months, including offering significant backing for Taiwan’s leadership in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.
We express our gratitude for US support to ensure our self-#Defense capacity under surrounding situations. The #FMS (AGM-84H, HIMARS, MS-110) approved by US @StateDept is already on the procedure of “Congress Notification”. #TaiwanRelationsAct #SixAssurances. https://t.co/XDuiB3fIAQ
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) October 22, 2020
The CCP regards Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), as a renegade province of China proper and refuses to recognize its sovereignty, with the regime seeking to bring the island into its fold, by military force if necessary.
The CCP continues to react furiously to any U.S. arms sales to the island.
The ROC was established after the 1911 Wuchang Uprising overthrew the Qing Dynasty emperor—the last emperor of China. The ROC government retreated to Taiwan upon being defeated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Chinese Civil War, after which the CCP established a regime called the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. While China was ruled as a communist state, Taiwan gradually transitioned to become a democracy.
By Matthew Lee. The Epoch Times contributed to this article.
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