USA announced on Friday a new package of weapons for Taiwan by $1.1 billionamid growing tension with Chinawho in response threatened with «countermeasures«.
The announcement comes a month after the Speaker of the House of Representatives and third in line of succession, Nancy Pelosiwill make a visit to Taiwan unleashing the wrath of mainland China, which launched a show of force that could be a test for a future invasion of the island.
Also a day after Taiwanese forces shot down an unidentified commercial drone amid a sudden series of mysterious raids that have baffled the island following a show of force by Beijing, which it said fired ballistic missiles at Taipei.
The new package, which needs congressional approval, includes $665 million for an early warning radar system to help Taiwan track incoming missiles, the State Department said.
Taiwan will also allocate 355 million dollars to buy 60 Harpoon Block missilescapable of tracking and sinking ships if China were to launch a seaborne assault.
The package also includes $85.6 million to purchase more than 100 Sidewinder missiles, iconic in Western armies for their air-to-air firepower.
Improved “early warning”
The spokesman for the Presidential Office of Taiwan, Chang Tun-han, thanked the United States in a statement for its continued support for the defense and security of the island.
“Is arms sales It will not only help our soldiers combat the gray area of coercion, it will also improve early warning capabilities against long-range ballistic missiles,” he added.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan an “inalienable” part of its territory, called on Washington to “immediately revoke” the sale, since “it sends the wrong signals to the separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence’ and severely damages US-China relations, and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington. »China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary countermeasures in light of the development of the situation,« he added.
A State Department spokesman claimed the package was “essential to the security of Taiwan» and insisted that the United States continues to recognize Beijing and not Taipei.
“This proposed sale is business as usual to support Taiwan’s continued efforts to modernize its military and maintain a credible defensive capability,” the spokesperson said. «The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of differences across the Strait in accordance with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan,” he added.
China considers Taiwan a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Chinese nationalists established an opposition government in Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war in mainland China. Since then the island has become an active democracy and a key technological center.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine It raised questions about whether China is capable of doing the same with Taiwan, and whether the island is equipped to defend itself.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism