Biden planning $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan

New Delhi: According to media sources, the Biden administration intends to ask Congress for permission to sell Taiwan arms worth USD 1.1 billion. It includes hundreds of missiles for fighter planes and anti-ship systems.

According to Sputnik News Agency, the deal would include a surveillance radar contract extension, 100 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and 60 anti-ship Harpoon missiles.

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Pelosi visited Taiwan

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visited Taiwan earlier this month. Following which China conducted its largest military exercise near Taiwan. The highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years made this trip.

After she left, China retaliated by holding military exercises close to the island for several days.

China began military exercise around Taiwan

Weeks after China began its military exercise surrounding the independent island nation following the visit of the US House Speaker, Taiwan had sought a defence budget of USD 17.3 billion for 2023—an increase of 14.9% from the entire budget for this year.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington responded to rumors of a prospective US arms sale to Taiwan by stating that the country must immediately cease providing the island with armaments.

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“US needs to stop arms sale”

“The US side needs to immediately stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and follow through on the US government statement of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence,'” embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told this to Sputnik News Agency.

The spokesperson added that US arms transfers to Taiwan constitute a serious breach of the one-China principle and that Beijing would continue to take forceful action to uphold Chinese sovereignty and security interests.

US Navy vessels in Taiwan Strait

In the meantime, two US Navy vessels made the first transit of the Taiwan Strait since China conducted massive military exercises near the island.

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According to a statement from the US 7th Fleet in Japan, which was cited by CNN, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were sailing on Sunday “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in line with the international law.”

The democratic, autonomous island of Taiwan is separated from the Chinese mainland by a strait that is 110 miles long.

Despite never having had control over the island, Beijing asserts its sovereignty over Taiwan and regards the Taiwan Strait as a part of its “internal seas.”

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