The White House is moving forward with three advanced arms sales to Taiwan, sending notification of the deals to Congress for approval in recent days, five sources said on Monday, as China threatened retaliation.
The November 3 US election, first reported by Reuters, is likely to offend China, which sees Taiwan as an important province it has vowed to reunite with the mainland if necessary.
Reuters reported in September that seven major weapon systems were making their way into the U.S. export process as the Trump administration pressured China.
Sources said the Foreign Affairs Committees, the Senate chief responsible for foreign relations and the House of Representatives, were told that three of the planned arms sales had been approved by the US State Department, which oversees military sales abroad, according to sources. Said those who know the situation, but they refused to identify themselves.
The informal notifications concerned a truck-based rocket launcher, built by Lockheed Martin Corp, called the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), long-range air-to-surface missiles manufactured by Boeing Co SLAM. -ER and external sensor pods called F-16 jets that allow real-time transmission of images and data from aircraft to ground stations.
Sources said notifications of the sale of large, state-of-the-art aerial drones, ground-based anti-ship harpoon missiles and underwater mines, have yet to reach Capitol Hill to prevent massive landings, but soon Was expected
A State Department spokesperson said, “As a matter of principle, the United States does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they have been formally reported to Congress.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the sale of US arms to Taiwan has seriously undermined China’s sovereignty and security, urging Washington to clearly recognize the damage it had caused and immediately cancel them. .
In a conversation with reporters in Beijing, Zhao said that depending on how the situation develops, a valid and necessary response will be given.
Congress support in Taiwan
The Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees of the US Senate of the House of Representatives have the authority to stop the sale of arms as part of the informal review process before sending their formal notification to the legislative branch of the Department. of state.
Lawmakers, who are generally wary of Chinese aggression and what they experience as Taiwanese supporters, have not opposed the sales from Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it would only comment when there is official notification of the sale of a weapon. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joan Ow said the government had not yet been officially informed.
“China has continued to use military provocations to undermine cross-strait and regional stability, stressing the importance of strengthening Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities,” Oi said.
New arms sales were advancing after senior U.S. officials last week repeatedly called for Taiwan to undertake military reforms to clarify the risks of spending more on defense and attempts to invade China.
It comes at a time when China has dramatically increased its military activity near Taiwan and with the approach of the US election, US-China relations have collapsed for decades. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have both sought to appear strict in their approach to Beijing.
Speaking on Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien cautioned against any attempt to force a withdrawal from Taiwan, saying amphibious landings were extremely difficult and there was a lot of ambiguity about how the United States would react. .
The United States demands that the law equip Taiwan with the means to defend itself, but has not specified whether it will intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack, which would trigger a widespread conflict with Beijing. Will provoke
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