The US has approved a fresh $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan aimed at upgrading the missile defense systems used by the self-ruled island nation.
The deal will include engineering “services support, designed to sustain, maintain, and improve” the island nation’s Patriot Air Defense System, a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement said.
“The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient (Taiwan) and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region,” the statement said.
It is the second military sale by the US to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
“(It) serves US’ 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 DSCA said.
Xavier Chang, Taiwan’s presidential office spokesman, thanked Washington for “once again taking concrete action to fulfil its security commitments.”
“This military sale demonstrates the great importance the US government continues to place on Taiwan's self-defense capabilities as well as our rock-solid bilateral partnership,” he said.
The spokesman reaffirmed “Taiwan's consistent position that we will neither bow to pressure nor act rashly when we have support.”
“Taiwan will continue to enhance our self-defense capabilities while deepening our security partnership with like-minded countries including the US, in order to strengthen our national defense and jointly maintain peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and the greater Indo-Pacific region,” he added.
China claims Taiwan, an island nation of some 24 million people, as a breakaway province, while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 15 countries.
Beijing has refused to rule out the possibility of taking the island with military force.