Taiwan military to get $619 million in US arms boost

The United States has approved a potential sale of $619 million in new weapons to Taiwan, including missiles for its F-16 fleet, as the island reported a second day of massive Chinese air force incursions.
The arms sales are likely to further sour already-strained relations between Washington and Beijing, which has repeatedly sought to block such deals, viewing them as undue support for democratically-ruled Taiwan. Given an island China claims as its territory. The Pentagon said on Wednesday that the US State Department has approved the potential sale of arms and equipment to Taiwan including 200 anti-aircraft Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and 100 AGM-88B HARM missiles that can destroy land-based radar stations.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s ability to defend its airspace, provide regional security, and provide interoperability with the United States,” it said in a statement.Taiwan’s defense ministry said the missiles would help “effectively defend airspace to deal with threats and provocations from the communist military” and strengthen defense reserves. Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) are the prime contractors. China has banned both companies for selling arms to Taiwan.China’s foreign ministry said it “firmly” opposed the planned sale, adding that the United States should stop arms sales and military contacts with Taiwan.
Chinese Air Force Invasion
Taiwan has complained of increased Chinese military activity near the island over the past three years as Beijing seeks to assert its sovereignty claims. Taiwan reported a second day of large-scale Chinese air force incursions into its air defense identification zone on Thursday, with its defense ministry saying it had spotted 21 aircraft during the previous 24 hours.China has said its activities in the region are justified because it wants to protect its territorial integrity and has warned the United States against “collusion” with Taiwan, despite anger in Taipei. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft, 17 J-10 fighters and four J-16 fighters, had flown over the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, as per the report.
The J-10s, an older model that entered service two decades earlier, flew closer to the Chinese coast than Taiwan, while the J-16s, a much newer and more advanced fighter, flew closer to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. Flew to the northeast, as stated. The lightly defended Pratas is strategically located at the head of the South China Sea, and many of China’s fly-bys take place nearby. Taiwan’s military is monitoring the situation, including dispatching its own aircraft, the ministry said, using common phrases for a response to such Chinese incursions. The ministry reported on Wednesday that 19 Chinese aircraft were flying in Taiwan’s air defense zone.

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