Washington, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- The United States announced Monday the sale of 100 Harpoon maritime defense systems and 400 missiles to Taiwan for $2.37 billion, a move China he had warned would incur sanctions.
The Trump administration “today formally notified Congress of a sale of 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS), including 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II surface missiles, worth $2.37 billion,” a State Department official who asked not to be identified reported.
Even before the announcement, the Chinese Government announced Monday the imposition of sanctions on the manufacturers of this missile system, Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon.
According to the State Department, the sale, to which the United States Congress must now give its approval, includes material “necessary to allow (Taiwan) to maintain sufficient self-defense capacity.”
“If the sale is finalized, this system will enhance the defensive capabilities of Taiwan, which intends to use its own funds for this purchase,” the official said.
The Trump administration has maintained a confrontational policy with China and given priority to strengthening relations with Taiwan, including the sale of arms, despite the fact that in 1979 Washington broke its relations with Taipei after recognizing to the People’s Republic of China.
In addition to a policy of imposing tariffs, the current US administration sent its Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to Taiwan in August in the first visit by a high-ranking official to the island since then.
Taiwan is considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949- Beijing maintains it is a rebellious province and insists it must return to what it calls the common homeland.
“The US maintains an abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and considers the security of Taiwan to be critical to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region as a whole,” the US official said.
“Our long-standing policy on defense material sales to Taiwan has remained consistent across seven different US administrations and contributes to the security of Taiwan and the maintenance of peace and stability throughout the Taiwan Strait,” he added.
In addition to the Harpoon coastal defense systems and the 400 additional RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II missiles, the sale includes four RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II exercise missiles and 25 radar trucks, spare parts, support and training equipment.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the US Agency for Defense Cooperation and Security said.
On the contrary, he added, “it will help maintain political stability, military and economic balance and progress in the region.”
The main contractor for the missile system is Boeing, although Chinese authorities have also announced sanctions against Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, companies that are involved in the manufacture of other weapons equipment proposed to Taipei. EFE-EPA