The United States on Friday announced a new $1.1 billion arms package for Taiwan, in a fresh bid to boost the island’s defenses amid rising tensions with Beijing, which has threatened to retaliate if Washington fails. revoke the decision.
The announcement comes a month after Speaker of the House of Representatives and third in line to the White House, Nancy Pelosi, paid a visit to Taiwan, drawing the ire of mainland China, which made a show of force that could be a test. for a future invasion of the island.
The new package, announced by the United States but which needs congressional approval, includes $665 million for a remote warning radar system to help Taiwan track approaching missiles, and $355 million for 60 advanced Harpoon missiles. , capable of sinking invading ships.
A State Department spokesperson said the package is “essential to Taiwan’s security.”
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan and instead to establish meaningful dialogue” with Taipei, he added.
According to the US State Department, the US continues to recognize only Beijing, which it considers its territory.
“This proposed sale is a routine matter to support Taiwan’s continued efforts to modernize its military and maintain a credible defensive capability,” the spokesperson said. “The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait differences in accordance with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan.”
After the announcement, Beijing threatened Washington with “reprisal measures” if the package that it said “puts grave danger” on Sino-US relations is not canceled.
China will take “legitimate and necessary countermeasures in light of the unfolding situation,” said Chinese Embassy Spokesperson in Washington Liu Pengyu.