The US Department of State has approved the potential sale of ammunition and logistics support to Taiwan in two separate deals with a combined value of up to US$440 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Taiwan has asked to purchase 30mm ammunition, including high-explosive incendiary tracer rounds, multipurpose rounds and training rounds, for about US$332.2 million, the Pentagon said.
The principal contractors would be Alliant Techsystems Operations and General Dynamics, it said.
Taiwan has asked to buy a Blanket Order Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangement at an estimated cost of US$108 million, the Pentagon said.
The logistics arrangement would support the purchase of spare and repair parts for wheeled vehicles, weapons and other equipment, it said.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Thursday notified the US Congress of the possible sales.
In Taipei, the Presidential Office thanked the US for honoring its commitments to Taiwan’s security by providing the nation with defensive weapons in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Olivia Lin (林聿禪) said yesterday.
The arms sales “fully demonstrated that the US government attaches great importance to Taiwan’s national defense needs,” she said.
Taiwan would continue to demonstrate its determination to defend itself and strengthen its defense capabilities to safeguard the security and interests of the nation, she said.
Taiwan would continue to cooperate with like-minded countries to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region, she added.
The Ministry of National Defense said that the sales would boost the nation’s resilience against China’s “expanding threats of military and gray zone tactics,” which it said has posed “severe threats” to Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement to thank the US for the arms sales.
“Taiwan has an unwavering determination to defend itself in the face of China’s continued military expansion and provocative actions,” the ministry said.
Taiwan would continue to strengthen its self-defense capabilities while deepening its close security partnership with the US to jointly safeguard the rules-based international order, and ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity, it said.
Meanwhile, the defense ministry said that 11 Chinese military aircraft were detected crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning.
At about 8am, 24 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft were spotted near Taiwan, and 11 of them crossed the unofficial border between Taiwan and China, the ministry said in a statement.
The 24 PLA aircraft included J-11, J-10 and J-16 jets, as well as Sukhoi Su-30s and H-6 bombers, it said.
The ministry said it scrambled planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issued radio warnings, mobilized combat air and naval patrols, and deployed defensive missile systems.
Five Chinese naval vessels were also detected near Taiwan yesterday, it said, without giving any details of the location or movement of the ships.
Additional reporting by Liu Tzu-hsuan
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