US plans to sell Taiwan about $1.42 billion in arms
The United States plans to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion in arms, the first such sale under the administration of Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the president has been seeking to rein in North Korea, Reuters reported.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales on Thursday.
"It's now valued about $1.42 billion," she said.
The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.
Nauert said the sales showed U.S. "support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability," but there was no change to the United States' long-standing "one China" policy, which recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.
The United States is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.
Beijing has given Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen the cold shoulder since she took power last year because she leads an independence-leaning ruling party and refuses to recognize the "one China" policy.
On Friday, Tsai's office said that her government will continue "to seek constructive dialogue with Beijing, and promote positive developments in cross-strait relations."
"(The arms sale) increases Taiwan's confidence and ability to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Tsai's office tweeted.
The sale, which requires congressional approval, would be the first to Taiwan under Trump and the first since a $1.83 billion sale that former President Barack Obama announced in December 2015, to China's dismay.
The previous package included two navy frigates in addition to anti-tank missiles and amphibious attack vehicles.
A State Department official said the latest package primarily represented "upgrades to existing defense capabilities aimed at converting current legacy systems from analog to digital."
Taiwan's defense ministry said the items would enhance air and sea combat capability and early warning defenses. It said Taiwan and the United States would continue to consolidate their security partnership to contribute to long-term stability in the region.