OAN’s James Meyers
4:10 PM – Wednesday, August 23, 2023
The Biden Administration has approved a $500 million arms sale to Taiwan as tensions with China continue to increase.
The State Department signed off on the agreement on Wednesday, which included infrared search tracking systems for F-16 fighter jets and other equipment related to the military aircraft, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
Additionally, the sale includes infrared systems, computer software and spare parts.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “The move could irritate Beijing, which repeatedly demanded the United States – Taiwan’s most important arms supplier – halt the sale of weapons to the island.”
The main contractor on the deal is Lockheed Martin Corp, which makes the F-16 aircraft, according to the Pentagon.
However, experts believe the deal will draw major backlash from Beijing, which has repeatedly claimed Taiwan as a renegade province and has vowed to unify with Taiwan by force if necessary.
“The proposed sale will improve the recipient’s capability to meet current and future threats by contributing to the recipient’s abilities to defend its airspace, provide regional security, and increase interoperability with the United States through its F-16 program,” the State Department said.
The new sale comes hours after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visited a war memorial remembering the last time Taiwan and China battled, to show military strength for the country.
Furthermore, the new agreement comes after the U.S. revealed another weapons aid package to Taiwan worth up to $345 million last month.
Over the years, China has ramped up their military movement by sending fighter jets and navy vessels around Taiwan.
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