The United States has approved a possible $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan to sustain, improve, and maintain its Patriot missile defense system, the Pentagon announced on Monday, drawing flack and ire from Beijing.
China claims the self-governed island of Taiwan as its own and regularly objects to U.S. arms, adding to the existing China-U.S tensions.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), in a statement, reported it had delivered the required certification notifying Congress after state department approval of the sale, which Taiwan's embassy in Washington requested.
DSCA said upgrades to the Patriot Air Defense System would help improve the recipient's security and assist in military balance, political stability, and economic progress in the region.
Taiwan's defense ministry said the decision to acquire newer Patriot missiles was made during a 2019 meeting with U.S. officials during President Trump's administration.
The democratically governed island of Taiwan has complained of repeated incursions by China's air force into its air defense zone, part of what the U.S. governmentperceives as Beijing's effort to pressure Taipei into accepting its sovereignty.
The U.S., like many other countries, does not have official relations with Taiwan, but Washington is its biggest backer and is bound by law to provide it with the means to defend itself.
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