US angers China by selling Taiwan £147 million of torpedoes

The US authorities has notified Congress of a doable sale of superior torpedoes to Taiwan value round $180m (£147m), additional souring already tense ties between Washington and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as Chinese territory.

The United States, like most international locations, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, however is certain by legislation to offer the democratic island with the means to defend itself. China routinely denounces US arms gross sales to Taiwan.

The US State Department has permitted a doable sale to Taiwan of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes and associated tools for an estimated value of $180m (£147m), the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday.

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“The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” it added.

The proposed sale serves US nationwide, financial, and safety pursuits by supporting Taiwan’s “continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability”, the company mentioned.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian mentioned China had lodged “solemn representations” with Washington in regards to the deliberate sale.

China urged the United States to cease all arms gross sales to, and navy ties with, Taiwan to forestall additional harm to Sino-US relations, Mr Lijian added.

The US announcement got here on the identical day Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in for her second time period in workplace, saying she strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims. China responded that “reunification” was inevitable and that it will by no means tolerate Taiwan’s independence.

China has stepped up its navy drills close to Taiwan since Ms Ing-wen’s re-election, flying fighter jets into the island’s air area and crusing warships round Taiwan.

China views Ms Ing-wen as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan. Ms Ing-wen says Taiwan is an impartial state referred to as the Republic of China, its official title, and doesn’t need to be half of the People’s Republic of China ruled by Beijing.


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