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Taiwan stresses ‘rock-solid’ ties with US after fresh defence deal

Taiwan has thanked the United States for selling up to $100 million worth of equipment and services to support its air and missile defence systems.

“This is the second arms sale to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office and the first time this year,” Taiwan’s presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It…reflects the rock-solid partnership between Taiwan and the US.”

The US State Department announced the agreement on Monday, as China ramps up incursions of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone.

According to a statement from US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the deal covers engineering support and maintenance of air defence systems and will “ensure readiness for air operations”.

“The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defence,” said the US agency.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the deal, which will maintain its Patriot missile air defence system, is expected to take effect sometime in March.

The first major arms sale to Taiwan under Biden was last August, which saw the approval of 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzer artillery systems.

READ MORE:
US military conflict with China possible over Taiwan: Chinese envoy

Incursions and tensions

Self-ruled democratic Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, which views the island as part of their territory to be seized one day — by force if necessary.

Beijing has significantly increased incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone in recent months, with the final quarter of 2021 seeing a massive spike of incursions.

Last year, Taiwan recorded 969 incursions by Chinese warplanes, according to a database compiled by AFP — more than double the roughly 380 carried out in 2020.

The new year appears to be following the same trend: the defence ministry recorded 52 warplanes entering the zone over two days in January, a large uptick over a short period.

The Patriot is a highly mobile surface-to-air missile system that would be a crucial defence against Chinese warplanes.

Washington diplomatically recognises Beijing over Taiwan but it is also bound by Congress to sell Taiwan weapons to defend itself.

Former US president Donald Trump ramped up big-ticket arms sales to Taiwan during his time in office as he feuded with Beijing on a host of issues from trade to national security.

READ MORE:
Taiwan reports largest Chinese air force raid since October

The agreement covers engineering support and maintenance of Taiwan’s air defence systems, as the island faces increasing pressure from China.

This is the second such defence agreement between the US and Taiwan under President Joe Biden.
This is the second such defence agreement between the US and Taiwan under President Joe Biden.
(AFP Archive)

Taiwan has thanked the United States for selling up to $100 million worth of equipment and services to support its air and missile defence systems.

“This is the second arms sale to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office and the first time this year,” Taiwan’s presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It…reflects the rock-solid partnership between Taiwan and the US.”

The US State Department announced the agreement on Monday, as China ramps up incursions of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone.

According to a statement from US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the deal covers engineering support and maintenance of air defence systems and will “ensure readiness for air operations”.

“The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defence,” said the US agency.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the deal, which will maintain its Patriot missile air defence system, is expected to take effect sometime in March.

The first major arms sale to Taiwan under Biden was last August, which saw the approval of 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzer artillery systems.

READ MORE:
US military conflict with China possible over Taiwan: Chinese envoy

Incursions and tensions

Self-ruled democratic Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, which views the island as part of their territory to be seized one day — by force if necessary.

Beijing has significantly increased incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone in recent months, with the final quarter of 2021 seeing a massive spike of incursions.

Last year, Taiwan recorded 969 incursions by Chinese warplanes, according to a database compiled by AFP — more than double the roughly 380 carried out in 2020.

The new year appears to be following the same trend: the defence ministry recorded 52 warplanes entering the zone over two days in January, a large uptick over a short period.

The Patriot is a highly mobile surface-to-air missile system that would be a crucial defence against Chinese warplanes.

Washington diplomatically recognises Beijing over Taiwan but it is also bound by Congress to sell Taiwan weapons to defend itself.

Former US president Donald Trump ramped up big-ticket arms sales to Taiwan during his time in office as he feuded with Beijing on a host of issues from trade to national security.

READ MORE:
Taiwan reports largest Chinese air force raid since October

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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