Posted Saturday 03rd September 2022 05:01 PM
China conducted military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan, which lasted for several days
China vowed on Friday, through a spokesperson for its embassy in Washington, to take “countermeasures” if the United States did not abandon a new arms sale to Taiwan.
“China will firmly take countermeasures, both legitimate and necessary, in light of the situation,” spokesman Liu Bingyu said in a statement.
The administration of US President Joe Biden was due to announce more than $1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan on Friday, as tensions escalated between the United States and China over the island’s status, according to US officials and a congressional aide familiar with the matter.
Officials said the $1.09 billion deal includes $355 million for Harpoon anti-ship missiles and $85 million for short-range Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
The bulk of the deal, though, they added, is a $655 million logistical support package for Taiwan’s reconnaissance radar program, which provides air defense warnings.
Air defense and early warning systems have become more important as Beijing steps up military exercises near Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway Chinese province.
Officials indicated that the US administration intends to notify Congress of the deal after work ends on Friday.
The administration is expected to say the deal is in line with the United States’ “one China” policy, as well as with the United States’ commitments to defend Taiwan.
The sharp and dangerous rhetoric between the United States and China over Taiwan has intensified in earnest since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month.
Since Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, there have been at least two other visits by members of Congress and many visits by US state governors, all of which have been condemned by China.
China claims that Taiwan is part of its territory, and that it should be annexed by force if necessary.
The two sides split after a civil war in 1949 and have no official relations, with Beijing cutting even informal contacts after the election of independence-leaning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.