The United States has announced a $2.4 billion sale of a coastal defense system to Taiwan

The United States said Monday it had approved the sale of $2 billion worth of 100-harpoon coastal defense systems to Taiwan, a move that sparked Beijing's anger over a  $1 billion-missile deal last week.

 

The United States has announced a 2.4 billion sale of a coastal defense system to Taiwan

The announcement comes shortly after the approval of US firms involved in the first arms sale to Beijing's democratic autonomous island.

 

The proposed sale of harpoon systems will help improve recipient security and maintain political stability, military balance ... and development in the region, the State Department said in a statement.

 

The agreement includes the 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense System (HCDS), which covers a range of about 78 miles (125 kilometers) for 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II surface-to-air missiles.

 

Developed by Boeing, these missiles can be mounted on fixed platforms or mounted on’ trucks.

 

The office of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the United States for the sale, saying it would "improve the unwavering capabilities of the war."

 

Democratic and self-governing Taiwanese advisers are under constant threat from Chinese invasion, whose leaders see the island as part of their territory.

 

He vowed one day to seize the area by force, if necessary.

 

Beijing has stepped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election, which sees the island not as part of "One China" but as a realistic sovereign state.

 

Chinese fighter jets and bombers have entered Taiwan's air defense zone with extraordinary frequency in recent months, while propaganda films have shown artificial attacks on areas such as Taiwan and US bases in Guam.

 

- 'Strategic ambiguity'.

 

Washington diplomatically recognizes Beijing more than Taipei, but is also committed to the congressional process of selling Taiwan's weapons in self-defense.

 

Unlike treaty allies such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, the United States has never openly promised to defend itself in the event of an attack on Taiwan. This policy is called’ "strategic ambiguity".

 

But he believes no change in Taiwan's future should be’ forced.

 

Taiwan's military is made up’ of Chinese People's Liberation Army and most of its equipment, including most of its fighter jets, is elderly.

 

Fearing provocations to Beijing, the current US administration has been wary of selling large quantities of arms to Taiwan.

 

But US President Donald Trump has rarely talked about signing billions of dollars’ worth of sales in recent years, when he has clashed with China over a number of issues.

 

Last Wednesday, the United States said it had approved the 1 billion sale of 135 precision-guided, aircraft-powered AGM-84H Salem-ER cruise missiles - which, in contrast to the Harpoon, strait Taiwan Strait. More than the width, that separates it from mainland China.

 

In response, Beijing said Monday that it would impose sanctions on Boeing's defense division Lockheed Martin and other US firms involved in arms sales.

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Xiao Lijian said the sanctions were "for the protection of national interests" and would apply to those who had "misbehaved with Taiwan in the process of arms sales."

 

Xiao did not elaborate on the sanctions process.


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