US approves potential $1.1bn weapons sale to Taiwan

TEHRAN, Sep. 03 (MNA) – The United States administration announced three contracts on Friday to sell weapons and technical services to Taiwan worth $1.1 billion in total, the US Department of State and a Pentagon agency have announced.

The United States has approved the potential sale of $1.1bn in weapons to Taiwan, the Pentagon announced, in a move that will likely worsen already heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, Al Jazeera reported.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Friday that the arms package would include 60 anti-ship missiles, 100 air-to-air missiles, and contractor logistics support for a surveillance radar program.

US news outlet Politico first reported earlier this week on the potential US weapons deal. While Congress can still disapprove of the sale, it is unlikely to do so as US lawmakers from both major parties strongly support Taiwan.

A spokesperson for the US Department of State, which approved the sale, claimed the package was “essential for Taiwan’s security”.

The Pentagon’s announcement comes amid strained relations between the US and China.

China called on Friday for the United States to “immediately revoke” the arms sales.

Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said Beijing would respond.

“It sends wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

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

ZZ/PR

News Code 190940

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