China Won't Be Pleased With Latest US-Taiwan Deal

US agrees to sell Taiwan $619M in munitions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2023 12:41 PM CST
Amid US-China Friction, a Big Arms Sale
F-16 fighter jets fly in close formation in Taipei, Taiwan, on Oct. 10, 2021.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

The US has approved more arms sales to Taiwan, including $619 million worth of munitions for F-16 fighter jets, in a decision likely to be yet another point of friction between the US and China, which claims the island as its own territory. The State Department said in a statement Wednesday night it had approved sales of missiles to be used with F-16s, as well as equipment to support the missiles. That includes AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles, as well as air-to-air missiles and launchers, reports the AP. Taiwan is unofficially supported by the US and has a fleet of F-16s bought from the US.

Tensions between China and the US are at their highest level in years over American support for the self-governed island, including visits by high-ranking politicians, and a host of other issues, such as a suspected Chinese spy balloon that crossed the US before being shot down last month. China considers Taiwan part of its territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and it has been stepping up its military and diplomatic harassment. The sides split amid civil war in 1949, and China's authoritarian Communist Party has never held sway over the island.

The United States is Taiwan's main supplier of military equipment, and China has objected to past sales with sanctions and other actions. Once arms sales are approved, delivering them can take years, and Taiwan has cited consistent delays in receiving weapons it has purchased. The arms will be provided by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin Corporation. (More Taiwan stories.)

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