(FiveNation.com)- To bolster its missile defense systems, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington has requested the purchase of $100 million in equipment and services over the next five years in support of its Patriot missile systems. And last week, the State Department notified Congress it had approved the request.
But China isn’t happy about it. On Tuesday, China demanded that the United States revoke the arms agreement with Taiwan and again warned that US relations with Taiwan will be harmful to US/China relations.
This is the first foreign military sale to Taiwan this year and the second under the Biden administration. Last year, the administration approved a $750 million deal with Taiwan that included the transfer of 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer artillery systems, 20 ammunition support vehicles, and an artillery fire support command and control system.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the $100 deal will be used to “sustain, maintain, and improve the Patriot Air Defense System”
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blasted the arms sale to Taiwan, saying it would “seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests.” He warned that the deal would cause serious harm to US/Chinese relations and the “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Zhao condemned the deal and demanded that it be “immediately revoked,” warning Washington that China would take “legitimate and strong measures” in defense of its sovereignty and security interests.
When asked what specific measures China would take in response to the deal, Zhao said, “let’s wait and see.”
Although Taiwan governs as an independent nation, China maintains that the island is part of its territory and has repeatedly demanded the United States sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
While the United States recognizes Taiwan as part of the “One China Policy,” the US continues informal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, through the Taiwan Relations Act. This includes providing defensive weapons and support.
On Tuesday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry thanks the US, saying the two nations will “continue to consolidate our security partnership” to “maintain peace and stability” in the region.