The State Department has approved selling Taiwan up to 40 BAE Systems-made M109 self-propelled howitzers and related equipment, including up to 1,698 kits to turn projectiles into precision-guided munitions in a deal estimated to be worth $750 million, according to a notice released Wednesday.
“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 notice said. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”
The sale was first reported by Bloomberg. The notice kicks off a 30-day congressional review period in which lawmakers could move to block the sale if they want. But arms sales to Taiwan have generally garnered strong bipartisan support.
China, meanwhile expresses frustration whenever the United States approves any arms deals for Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province. In November, China vowed a “proper and necessary response” after the Trump administration approved a $600 million drone sale to Taiwan that Beijing said “brutally interferes in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCMP.COM
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