US State Dept greenlights $2.2bn sale of tanks & missiles to Taiwan despite China’s protests
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to TECRO for the M1A2T Abrams Tanks and related equipment and support Stinger missiles and related equipment and support for an estimated cost of $2 billion,” the Pentagon announced on Monday.
The purchase, which still needs to be approved by Congress, includes 108 units of M1A2T Abrams Tanks, which Taipei plans to use against China if it tries to reclaim sovereignty over the island. The Pentagon maintains that the sale will not influence the “basic military balance” in the region and will merely “enhance” Taiwan's ability “to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”Also on rt.com Chinese defense minister vows to ‘fight to the end, at all costs’ over trade & Taiwan
Beijing, however, made clear that it will battle any outside meddling and attempts to split Taiwan from mainland China, stressing that the country will not rule out the use of force to do so.
“Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure,” China’s defense minister General Wei Fenghe said at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore last month. “No attempts to split China will succeed.”
“China firmly, consistently and unequivocally opposes US arms sales to Taiwan,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a separate statement last month, warning Washington against inflicting “serious damage to bilateral relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”Also on rt.com ‘Stop arms sales & military contact’: Beijing warns US against selling F-16s to Taiwan
Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, took office in May 2016. China suspects the leader to be seeking formal independence with support from Washington.
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