US Okays Sale of $100m Missile Defense System to Taiwan

The United States has authorized the sale of military equipment and services to Taiwan to support its missile defense system in a deal estimated to be worth the equivalent of $100 million, as Washington backs the building of a strong air defense system on the island despite intensifying pressure from China. 

Taipei had sought participation in the five-year program, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Monday, to “sustain, maintain, and improve” its Patriot Air Defense System. 

“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the agency said in its announcement. 

The deal also will “help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability [and] military balance” in the region.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it had delivered the required certification notifying Congress for State Department approval of the sale.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China strongly objects to the deal and that the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan “gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-U.S. relations and cross-strait peace and stability.”

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