Taipei, 8 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The US has approved a 100-million-dollar arms sale to Taiwan to help boost the island’s missile defense systems, in a move likely to irk China.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency confirmed the sale Monday in a statement and said it would help improve Taipei’s security and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and progress in the region.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday expressed gratitude for the US approval.
Taiwan presidential spokesperson Xavier Chang said the fact this marked the second arms sale to Taiwan approved by the Biden administration showed that the US-Taiwan collaborative partnership remained “rock solid.”
The US legally committed to supporting Taiwan’s defense capabilities in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.
The move is likely to draw ire from China, as it considers self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory, despite the island having an independent government since 1949.
Tensions have flared recently between China and Taiwan, in part due to increasing incursions by Chinese fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace.
China is facing a backlash for its actions towards Taiwan, in Hong Kong and for domestic human rights violations.
The US is among countries who have not sent official representatives to China for the Beijing Winter Olympics.