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US Approves $95 Million Sale of Missile Defense Support to Taiwan

US Approves $95 Million Sale of Missile Defense Support to Taiwan

Wednesday, 6 April, 2022 - 06:00
An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005/File Photo

The US announced Tuesday it has approved the sale of up to $95 million worth of training and equipment to support Taiwan's Patriot missile defense system, something Taipei said would help protect the island from any invasion by China.

"The proposed sale will help to sustain (Taiwan’s) missile density and ensure readiness for air operations," the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

It added Taiwan will use the proposed training and equipment as a "deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense."

Taiwan's foreign ministry welcomed the arms deal -- the third approved under US President Joe Biden -- saying it would help protect against Beijing's "continuing military expansion and provocation".

"In the face of China's continuing military expansion and provocation, Taiwan must fully demonstrate its strong determination to defend itself," it said in a statement.

"Our government will continue to strengthen our self-defense and asymmetric combat capabilities".

Taiwan's defense ministry said the planned deal is expected to take effect in one month.

The latest arms purchase comes as Taiwan closely watches the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as it also lives under the constant threat of an invasion by a giant neighbor.

China regards Taiwan as its territory and has vowed repeatedly to seize it one day, by force if necessary.

Beijing has dramatically ramped up its sabre rattling in recent years, sending 969 Chinese warplanes into Taiwan's air defense zone in 2021, according to a database compiled by AFP -- more than double the roughly 380 in 2020.

Taiwan has recorded about 280 warplanes entering the zone so far this year.

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