Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. to sell tanks, missiles to Taiwan amid tensions with Beijing

U.S. to sell tanks, missiles to Taiwan amid tensions with Beijing

The US is proposing the sale of.2 billion in arms to Taiwan, including 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, sidestepping protests from China.

The deal is for 108 Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles and linked tools.

US President Donald Trump's administration has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, despite China saying the decision "extremely sensitive and damaging" to Washington-Beijing ties, media reports said.

Final month, China's International Ministry had urged the USA to cease the sale, calling it an "extremely comfy and negative" resolution.

U.S. lawmakers have 30 days to object to the sale but are unlikely to do so.

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Observers say the United States is using the arms sale to pressure China as the two countries are locked in a tit-for-tat trade dispute. "Additionally, the act states that the U.S. should allow 'regular sales and defense articles" to Taiwan and should defend the island's participation in worldwide organizations. The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself. Taiwan, however, has repeatedly rejected Beijing's claim and still bears the name of the pre-Communist-era government, the Republic of China, whose territorial control was confined to the island at the conclusion of the civil war in 1949, when the People's Republic of China was established on the mainland.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in March that Washington was responding positively to Taipei's requests for new arms sales to bolster its defenses in the face of pressure from China.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry confirmed it had requested those weapons and that the request was proceeding normally.

But this is not the first time Taiwan has purchased arms from the United States; over the past 9 years, the US has sold $15 billion worth of arms to Taiwan.

At the moment, the Armed Forces of Taiwan are in desperate need to update the fleet of their battle tanks, which primarily consist of obsolete tanks of the M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger type.

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