US approves $1.1 arms sale to Taiwan, provoking China

The proposed deal, which includes a radar system to track incoming strikes and anti-ship and anti-air missiles, comes after Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker’s official visit to Taipei last month.

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Washington: The US State Department has approved a potential $1.1 billion sale of military equipment to Taiwan, a move provoking China to take counter measures.

The proposed deal, which includes a radar system to track incoming strikes and anti-ship and anti-air missiles, comes after Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker’s official visit to Taipei last month.

According to a BBC report, the Chinese embassy in Washington called on the US to revoke the deal or face “counter-measures”.

Spokesman Liu Pengyu said the deal “severely jeopardises” relations between Washington and Beijing.

“China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation,” he added.

The US arms sale agreed on Friday still needs to be voted on by the strongly pro-Taiwan US Congress, the report said.

According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the package includes a $655m radar warning system and $ 355m for 60 Harpoon missiles, which are capable of sinking ships. It also includes $ 85.6m for Sidewinder surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

A spokesperson for the Department of State said the deal was “essential for Taiwan’s security”, and called on Beijing “to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue”.

“These proposed sales are routine cases to support Taiwan’s continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the spokesperson said.