New Delhi: To counter communist country China in Asian region – The US State Department has approved the potential sales of arms to Taiwan. The US approved sales of sensors, missiles and artillery that could have total value of 1.8 billion USD.
The Pentagon on Wednesday said that amid rising tension over the self-ruled island that China claims as its own.
According to media report, State department said that 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), for an estimated cost of $436.1 million. 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing for an estimated $1.008 billion. Six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets an estimated cost is $367.2m.
The US announced $1.8billion sale of weapons to Taiwan when relations between China and Taiwan are disturbed at extreme level. The relations between China and the US have also deteriorated in recent times due to various reasons including Indo-Pacific and coronavirus pandemic.
The Defence Minister of Taiwan Yen De-fa welcomed said “Taiwan did not want to get involved in an arms race with China, it needed a credible military and sales were to help Taiwan improve their defensive capabilities to deal with the “enemy threat and new situation.”
“This includes a credible combat capability and asymmetric warfare capabilities to strengthen our determination to defend ourselves,” he added.
“This shows the importance attached by the United States to security in the Indo Pacific and Taiwan Strait. We will continue to consolidate our security partnership with the United States.” Yen De-fa said.
For decades, the Chinese government has claimed authority over Taiwan. Though Taiwan is not recognised by the UN, its government maintains a relationship with the US and does not accept the Chinese authority.
The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but China’s foreign ministry said last week that US arms sales to Taiwan severely damaged China’s sovereignty and security interests.
Chinese embassy had urged Washington to cancel the planned sales and warned that China would “make a legitimate and necessary response according to how the situation develops.”
The US administration has stepped up pressure on Beijing in the view of November 3 US presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough stance against China a central theme of his campaign for a second term.
US-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said “The quality of the three programs notified today clearly reflects the urgency of continued Taiwan force modernization to counteract China’s hegemonic behaviour. Each program adds an important deterrent capability that should further complicate any consideration by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to threaten or to use force to coerce Taiwan into a political union.”