The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan.
The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday.
The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational life of 30 years for its PAC-3 missiles, including air transportation services for missile processing, ground support equipment, and US government and contractor technical and logistical support, it said.
The proposed sale is in line with US law and policy, and serves its “national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” it said.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the agency said.
Lockheed Martin would be the primary contractor, it added.
The proposed sale, which is expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale to Taiwan by US President Donald Trump’s administration, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement yesterday.
The US, in line with its Taiwan Relations Act and “six assurances,” continues to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons, and the missile refurbishment package would boost Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, it said, thanking the US for the decision.
As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) mentioned in her second inaugural speech, Taiwan has over the past four years worked to reform its national defense sector, as well as participate on the global stage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
These efforts — which are to continue over the next four years — seek to maintain cross-strait peace and stability, and to allow Taiwan to become more involved in fostering peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, it said, adding that bilateral security partnerships would only deepen.
“Taiwan will continue to increase investment, and research and development in the defense sector in a bid to add to long-term peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
The nation’s oldest PAC-3 ground systems and missiles, which were purchased from the US nearly 10 years ago, need maintenance, Taiwan Security Analysis Center director Mei Fu-hsing (梅復興) wrote on Facebook yesterday.
The refurbishment would cover 444 PAC-3 systems and missiles bought over the years, Mei said.
Just like the previous arms package sale announced on May 20, the new proposal shows a normalization of arms sales between the US and Taiwan, he added.
Taiwan, like any other country, can tender arms purchase proposals to the US at any time, and the US reviews them upon request, as per legal procedure, instead of holding the proposals and then “clearing the warehouse” all at once, he said.
That was one of the Taiwan-friendly policies instituted by Randall Schriver during his tenure as US assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, Mei added.
Additional reporting by CNA
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South