The US State Department has announced a possible arms deal with Taiwan worth 1.1 billion euros. These include 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 anti-aircraft missiles. The deal still needs to be approved by Congress.
China has reacted furiously, warning it to take ‘countermeasures’. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the US says the weapons package “critically endangers relations between Washington and Beijing”. Earlier, China said it “strongly opposes the sale of American weapons to the Chinese region of Taiwan”.
The Pentagon announced the package in the wake of China’s military exercises around Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Taipei last month. Pelosi is the highest-ranking US Representative to visit the region in more than 25 years. In China, the visit of the American politician is sensitive, because it is seen as an implicit recognition of Taiwan as a separate nation. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that will sooner or later be recaptured.
The US Congress has yet to approve the plan. Both Republicans and Democrats are expected to approve the proposal.
Also read: Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan for sensitive visit to China