TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

US State Department approves $2.37 b more in potential arms sales to Taiwan -Pentagon

  • Mike Stone

    Reuters

Washington DC   /   Tue, October 27, 2020   /   10:02 am
US State Department approves $2.37 b more in potential arms sales to Taiwan -Pentagon The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia outside Washington, DC is seen in this aerial photograph, April 23, 2015. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan in a deal that has a potential value of up to $2.37 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The move comes days after the State Department approved the potential sale of three other weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8 billion, which prompted a sanctions threat from China.

On Monday in Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told reporters China will impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin , Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other US companies it says are involved in Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.

US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, "We deplore Beijing’s efforts to retaliate against US and foreign companies for their sales that support Taiwan’s legitimate self-defense requirements."

Monday's formal notifications to Congress by the State Department covered the proposed sale of up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS), which includes 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles to serve as coastal defense cruise missiles.

Last week, the State Department sent notifications to Capitol Hill for the first tranche of arms sales which included truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed, Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment made by Boeing Co, and external sensor pods for F-16 jets.

Reuters was first to report in September that sales of major weapons systems to Taiwan were making their way through the US export process.

The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales, but this is unlikely given broad bipartisan support for the defense of Taiwan.

The US moves come as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China in the run up to the Nov. 3 presidential election and concerns rise about Beijing's intentions toward Taiwan. Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.