The United States has approved the potential sale of $1.1 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, the Pentagon announced, in a move likely to exacerbate already heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.
According to international media, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Friday that the weapons package would include 60 anti-ship missiles, 100 air-to-air missiles and logistical support from contractors for a surveillance radar program.
US media reported earlier this week about the possible US arms deal. While Congress may still disapprove of the sale, it’s unlikely to happen as US lawmakers from both major parties strongly support Taiwan.
A spokesman for the US State Department, which approved the sale, said the package is “essential to Taiwan’s security.”
“These proposed sales are routine matters in support of Taiwan’s ongoing efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability,” the spokesman said.
The Pentagon’s announcement comes amid tense US-China relations that have not ruled out the use of force to take control of Taiwan, a self-governed island that China considers part of its territory.