Trump administration approves arms sale to Taiwan amid China tensions

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Trump administration approves arms sale to Taiwan amid China tensions


(CNN) – The Trump administration introduced Wednesday that it had accredited a possible $180 million arms sale to Taiwan, a transfer that’s certain to anger Beijing amid rising tensions.

The State Division approved a attainable sale of eighteen MK-48 Mod6 Superior Expertise Heavy Weight Torpedoes and associated tools for an estimated price of $180 million, the Protection Safety Cooperation Company introduced Wednesday.

“The proposed sale will enhance the recipient’s functionality in present and future defensive efforts. The recipient will use the improved functionality as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland protection,” the announcement mentioned.

The Trump Administration has beforehand accredited a number of main arms gross sales to Taiwan valued at some $10 billion in complete, together with dozens of F-16 fighter jets, M1A2T Abrams tanks and moveable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

In response to the announcement Chinese language Ministry of Overseas Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian mentioned Thursday that, “China is firmly against the US arms gross sales to Taiwan and has made solemn representations to the US. We urge the US facet to strictly abide by the one-China precept and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques, and cease arms gross sales to Taiwan and army hyperlinks between the US and Taiwan to keep away from additional harm to Sino-US relations and peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait.”

A Pentagon report final yr warned that Taiwan’s conventional army benefits over Beijing within the occasion of a cross-strait battle had been eroding as China modernizes its army.

Washington has lengthy supplied arms to the territory as a part of the 40-year-old Taiwan Relations Act.

Beijing has regularly chafed at these gross sales, calling them a violation of China’s sovereignty. The nation’s Communist authorities views Taiwan as a part of its territory, although the 2 have been ruled individually for the reason that finish of a bloody civil warfare in 1949.

Wednesday’s announcement comes because the US and Chinese language authorities traded diplomatic barbs over the coronavirus.

The Trump administration has repeatedly blamed China for contributing to the pandemic’s unfold by not offering well timed and satisfactory details about its origins.

“This plague has price roughly 90,000 American lives. Greater than 36 million Individuals have misplaced their job since March. Globally, 300,000 lives– might be as a lot as round $9 trillion, in line with our estimates, the fee imposition on the world by the Chinese language Communist Celebration’s failures,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo instructed reporters earlier on Wednesday.

Beijing has defended its dealing with of the outbreak, and maintains that the US is attempting to “shift the blame to China for his or her insufficient response to Covid-19.”

The sale additionally comes days after Pompeo issued an announcement congratulating Taiwan’s chief on her current inauguration — a transfer fiercely condemned in Chinese language state media.

“I need to say congratulations to President Tsai on her inauguration. The democratic course of in Taiwan has matured right into a mannequin for the world. Regardless of nice strain from the skin, Taiwan has demonstrated the knowledge of giving individuals a voice and a selection,” Pompeo mentioned on Wednesday.

The US sought to again Taiwan’s current bid to attend the World Well being Meeting as an observer, one thing Taipei had been capable of do in earlier years. Nevertheless, that bid was blocked by China.

This story was first printed on CNN.com, “Trump administration approves arms sale to Taiwan amid China tensions”

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