The Biden administration has approved two potential arms sales totaling $440 million to Taiwan amid ongoing tensions between the self-governing island and Beijing, the State Department announced Thursday.
One sale, totaling about $332 million, includes 30mm ammunition and related equipment, and the other $108 million is for spare and repair parts for vehicles and weapons to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office – Taiwan’s diplomatic outpost in the United States – the State Department said.
“This proposed sale serves US national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the State Department said.
Washington has long provided arms to the island under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, and there is bipartisan support for supplying Taiwan with weapons. However, the move prompted an angry response from Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of China and said it “firmly opposes” military interaction between the US and Taiwan.
“The US should abide by the one China principle and the three joint communiques. It should cease selling weapons to Taiwan, creating tensions and undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Friday in a regular press briefing.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry thanked the US for the potential sales.
“China’s ever-expanding military and grey zone oppression have posed a severe threat to Taiwan,” the ministry said in a statement. “The US arm sales this time not only helps to build Taiwan’s capacity in responding to China’s military threat, but also strengthens our defense resilience and satisfies our training needs.”
CNN’s Wayne Chang contributed to this report.