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Taiwan will upgrade its Patriot air defense systems to serve US interests in the region

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US Department of State confirmed the readiness to supply elements to the armed forces of Taiwan for the modernization of the Patriot PAC-3 air defense systems in the amount of $ 620 million, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the Taiwan Central News Agency on July 10.

Read more: The U.S. Is Pursuing Sale of Tanks and Weapons to Taiwan, China Is Severely Concerned

The Central News Agency, in turn, refers to a statement made Thursday by the United States Agency for Cooperation in the Field of Military Security (DSCA). According to this agency, the US Congress has already been notified of the consent of the US Administration to complete the transaction.

“The proposed sale will help increase the security of the recipient country and will help maintain political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region,” the DSCA statement said in particular. It also notes that “the proposed sale serves US national and economic interests.”

In addition to the direct supply of components for the Taiwanese Patriot, the American side according to the contract will have to conduct their testing and repair.

Note that Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace and arms company, will be the main contractor in the deal.

Taiwan purchased 66 F-16s totaling $8 billion

Last August [2019 – ed.] we reported that the U.S. State Department has approved a possible $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.

The potential deal is for 66 aircraft, 75 General Electric Co engines, as well as other systems, the agency said in a statement, adding it served the interests of the United States and would help Taiwan maintain a credible defence.

Read more: Taiwan Buys Abrams Tanks and Stinger Missiles Totaling $2.2 Billion, China is Seriously Concerned

China has already denounced the widely discussed sale, one of the biggest yet by the United States to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province. It has warned of unspecified “countermeasures.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, a Republican, has welcomed the proposed sale of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 jets.

“These fighters are critical to improving Taiwan’s ability to defend its sovereign airspace, which is under increasing pressure from the People’s Republic of China,” he said in a recent statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Monday that President Donald Trump notified Congress of the sale last week.

Pompeo told Fox News the sale was “consistent with past U.S. policy” and that the United States was “simply following through on the commitments we’ve made to all of the parties.”

Taiwan buys Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles totaling $2.2 billion

On July 9 2019 the U.S. State Department approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $2.2 billion (£1.8 billion), despite Chinese criticism of the deal.

China’s Foreign Ministry said last month when the possible sale was first reported that it was seriously concerned about U.S. arms sales to self-ruled Taiwan, and it urged the United States to halt the sales to avoid harming bilateral ties.

Read more: China May Declare Its First Stealthy J-20 Fighter This Year

The sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, would not alter the basic military balance in the region, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

DSCA notified Congress on Monday of the possible arms sale, which it said could also include mounted machine guns, ammunition, Hercules armoured vehicles for recovering inoperative tanks, heavy equipment transporters and related support.

Reuters reported last month that an informal notification of the proposed sale had been sent to the U.S. Congress.

The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems a renegade province. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Taiwan’s Presidential Office expressed “sincere gratitude” to the U.S. government for the arms sale.

“Taiwan will speed up investment on defence and continue to deepen security ties with the United States and countries with similar ideas,” Chang Tun-han, a spokesman for Taiwan’s president, said in a statement.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in March that Washington was responding positively to Taipei’s requests for new arms sales to bolster its defences in the face of pressure from China. The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself.

Read more: The U.S. Is Pursuing Sale of Tanks and Weapons to Taiwan

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry confirmed it had requested those weapons and that the request was proceeding normally.

The U.S. commitment to providing Taiwan with the weapons to defend itself helps Taipei’s military raise its combat abilities, consolidates the Taiwan-U.S. security partnership and ensures Taiwan’s security, the ministry said last month in a statement.

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