US will sell $1.1 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan amid tensions with China, awaiting Congressional approval

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Washington: The Joe Biden administration plans to sell an estimated $1.1 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan. For this formal approval from the US Congress is awaited. According to sources, the weapons package received by Taiwan from the US includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles. The news comes as China continues to send its warships and aircraft into Taiwan’s waters.

Beijing has become increasingly aggressive in its behavior since US Congressman Nancy Pelosi visited the self-ruled island a few weeks ago and condemned China’s efforts to isolate and intimidate Taiwan. In response to Pelosi’s visit, China launched massive, unprecedented military exercises around Taiwan, including firing missiles at the island for the first time.

According to sources, the US weapons package for Taiwan, which is still in the initial stage, includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles worth $355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder strategic air defense systems for $85.6 million . Contract extension for ballistic missiles, and $655.4 million for surveillance radar. Sidewinder missiles will equip Taipei’s US-made F-16 fighter jets.

Once the Biden administration formalizes the notification, the deal will require the signature of the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ranking Republican and the House Foreign Affairs Committee before finalizing the deal. US lawmakers are likely to approve the deal, but the process could take a little longer, given the ongoing recess in Congress.

In recent years, suspicions have grown that China is preparing to take over Taiwan by military force. They believe that this island country is a part of it. In response, the US and other Western countries have praised Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and stressed the need to protect it, in contrast to Beijing’s authoritarianism.

The US has followed the so-called One China Policy enshrined in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which stipulates that the US will not establish formal diplomatic relations with Taipei. The TRA also created the doctrine of strategic ambiguity, whereby the US deliberately remains unclear whether it will defend Taiwan militarily against an invasion. Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties have called for an end to that policy. Because Taiwan is getting threats from the Chinese military.

Tags: china-taiwan, Taiwan, America


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