The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the US Department of State had approved the sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles, and artillery, with a total value of $1.8 billion.
The arms sales included 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment made by Boeing, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace. Also among the weapons were 11 truck-based rocket launchers called High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) by Lockheed Martin Corp.
Responding the approval of the billion-dollar arms sales to Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a daily news briefing that Washington should put a halt to such sales to the self-ruled island.
The sales “seriously interfere with China’s internal affairs, seriously damage China’s sovereignty and security interests, send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces, and severely damage China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Zhao said.
“China will give a legitimate and necessary response according to how the situation develops,” he added, without providing details.
Taiwan’s defense minister Yen De-fa has welcomed the advanced weapons package and said the sales will help Taipei improve its military capabilities to deal with the “enemy threat and new situation.”