TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale to Taiwan of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes and related equipment in a move which is likely to further strain already strained relations between Beijing and Taiwan.
The proposed sale is estimated at US$180 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Wednesday, and “serves to support Taiwan’s continued efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain credible defense capabilities.”
The U.S. administration has reportedly briefed Congress on the move which came a day after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was sworn in, saying she firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.
China responded that reunification was “inevitable” and that it would never “tolerate” Taiwan’s independence.
The United States has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan even though it is legally obliged to provide the democratic island with means of self-defense.
China, which routinely denounces U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, has stepped up its military drills near Taiwan since Tsai’s re-election, flying fighter jets into the island’s air space and sailing warships around Taiwan.