U.S. approves arms sales to Taiwan worth $619m


President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt relief at Delaware State University, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in Dover, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)



The U.S. has approved a 619 million dollars potential sale of weapons to Taiwan to help boost the island’s defence capability.


Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that the deal was Biden administration’s ninth arms sale to Taiwan, which fulfils its promise to normalise a policy to sell military equipment and services to Taiwan.


The U.S. is legally bound to support Taiwan’s defence capabilities due to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.


U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a Wednesday statement that the deal includes missiles and equipment to be used with F-16s fighter jets, including anti-radiation missiles, air-to-air missiles and launchers.


“The proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s capability to provide for the defence of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States,” U.S. DSCA said.


It said the deal would help improve Taipei’s security and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and progress in the region.


In Taipei, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) expressed gratitude for the approval, adding that the deal is expected to take effect one month after U.S. Congress is notified.


MND said the deal would further help Taiwan’s Air Force strengthen its capability to defend the island’s air space in face of frequent Chinese air force incursions.


The deal is likely to draw ire from China, as it considers self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory, in spite of the Island having an independent government since 1949.


MND on Thursday reported a second day of large-scale Chinese air force incursions nearby.


Over the prior 48 hours at least 40 Chinese fighter jets were detected in Taiwan’s airspace, it said.


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