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Taiwan defence ministry announces $1.16bn purchase of arms from US

Taiwan's defence ministry expressed gratitude early on Saturday morning for a $1.16 billion arms deal with the Biden administration for air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles for the island democracy.

Taipei, 3 September 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Taiwan’s defence ministry expressed gratitude early on Saturday morning for a $1.16 billion arms deal with the Biden administration for air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles for the island democracy.

A ministry spokesperson announced on Saturday that the Biden administration had notified the US Congress of the proposed sale early under the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act.

The sale includes a $655 million package of logistic support and maintenance for the air defence surveillance radar, as well as $355 million for 60 AGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 100 AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Saturday.

The spokesperson expressed gratitude on behalf of the Taiwan government for the sale, which is expected to bolster the island’s air and sea defence against the use of “grey area” tactics by China and strengthen the military’s early warning capability.

On Thursday, Taiwan forces shot down a suspected Chinese drone flying over restricted areas of Lion Islet (Shiyu) between Taiwan-controlled Kinmen and the mainland Chinese city of Xiamen.

Soldiers on Kinmen’s Lieyu Islet fired warning flares at several apparently civilian-operated Chinese drones spotted in the area on Friday afternoon, Taiwan’s defence ministry reported on Friday evening.

China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan is part of its territory, has stepped up air and maritime military pressure and cyber attacks on the island since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a controversial visit to Taiwan on August 2.

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