US approves $1.8 billion in arms sales to Taiwan amid tensions with China

Topics Taiwan | USA | China

Howitzers fire munitions during an annual Taiwanese military exercise in Taichung, July 2020. The drills are aimed at repelling a Chinese invasion across the Taiwan Strait. Photo: Bloomberg

In a move that will irk China, the United States on Tuesday approved the potential sale of three weapon systems to Taiwan, including missiles and artillery, that could have a total value of USD 1.8 billion.

The formal notification to Congress by the State Department was for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), for an estimated cost of $436.1m, Al Jazeera reported.

The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing, for an estimated $1.008bn, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of USD 367.2ml.

The move comes at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan are heightened. The relations between China and the US have also deteriorated in recent times due to various reasons including Indo-Pacific and coronavirus pandemic.

Further congressional notifications are expected to follow, including drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing, to serve as coastal defence cruise missiles.

China has repeatedly threatened Taiwan with invasion and has adopted an aggressive policy to intimidate the self-governing island.

For decades, the Chinese government has claimed authority over Taiwan. Though Taiwan is not recognised by the UN, its government maintains a relationship with the US and does not accept the Chinese authority.

The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales but there is broad bipartisan support for the defence of Taiwan.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel