The sale is not yet complete. Part of the package is a $665 million radar system to help Taiwan locate incoming missiles in a timely manner. If the deal goes through, it will be the first time in nearly two years that the US has sold so many weapons to Taiwan in one go.
While the arms transfers do not offer Taiwan new military capabilities, the US State Department says, they could further increase tensions with Beijing. Since the visit of top American politician Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last month, China has carried out various military activities around the island state. China considers Taiwan a rebellious province.
Earlier this week, China said it “strongly opposes the sale of US weapons to China’s Taiwan region”. The US Congress has yet to approve the sale of the weapons. But China also officially threatened “countermeasures” last night if the United States does not abandon the plan. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington said: “China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary countermeasures,” said an embassy spokesman.