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Biden to ask Congress for approval of USD 1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan: Reports

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WASHINGTON: The Biden administration plans to ask Congress to approve a USD 1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan that includes hundreds of missiles for fighter jets and anti-ship systems, according to media reports.
Sputnik News Agency reported that the sale would include 60 anti-ship Harpoon missiles, 100 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and a surveillance radar contract extension.
China carried out its largest war games around Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed Island earlier this month. This trip was the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years.
China responded by conducting military drills for multiple days near the island after she left.
Taiwan had proposed a budget of USD 17.3 billion in defence for 2023, a 14.9 per cent increase from this year’s total allocation, weeks after China started its military drill around the self-ruled island country post the visit of US House Speaker.
Responding to reports about a potential US arms sale to Taiwan, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the US must immediately stop selling weapons to the island.
“The US side needs to immediately stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and follow through on the US government statement of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence,'” embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said, as per Sputnik News Agency.
The spokesperson also said US arms sales to Taiwan gravely violate the one-China principle and Beijing will continue to take resolute and strong measures to firmly defend Chinese sovereignty and security interests.
Meanwhile, two United States Navy warships entered the Taiwan Strait in the first such transit since China staged unprecedented military drills around the island.
On Sunday, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were making their voyage “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with the international law,” the US 7th Fleet in Japan said in a statement as quoted in CNN.
A 110-mile strait is a stretch of water that separates the democratic self-ruled island of Taiwan from mainland China.Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan despite China’s ruling Communist Party never having controlled the island — and considers the strait part of its “internal waters.”



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Date: August 30, 2022